Opening Of Rams (And Chargers!) New Stadium Delayed A Year Thanks To The Rain
When the Rams returned to L.A. in 2016, they came with the promise of a new stadium that would be built in Inglewood. The plans were grand, to say the least. The $2.6-billion stadium would span 298 acres, and would be surrounded by a performance venue, a hotel, homes, tons of retail and offices, and even a lake with waterfalls, according to the Times. Also, the Chargers left San Diego and decided to become a second tenant at the stadium.
Alas, big plans don't go well with unwelcomed surprises, and the project got a big one when California saw record rainfall this winter season (the National Weather Service said that December was the wettest month in downtown L.A. in six years). The result? Planners now say that the 2019 reveal date for the stadium has been pushed back to 2020.
“The continuing rains really knocked us for a loop,” Bob Aylesworth, who helps helm the Turner/AECOM Hunt joint venture that is building the stadium, told the L.A. Times. “It was a very unforgiving two months for the project. And speaking from a building perspective, it really couldn’t have come at a worse time.”
According to the Times, the rain stalled construction work for a good two months. The downpour happened at a time when crews were digging the enormous hole on which the stadium would sit; at times the unfinished hole would pool up with water and end up looking like a lake. The water had to be drained before work could resume on the site.
"In the best interest of the project, we have decided to move the opening date to summer of 2020," the Rams said in a statement. "This new target gives us flexibility to accommodate any additional delays that may arise while still delivering an unparalleled experience upon opening."
According to NFL.com, it looks like the Chargers will be playing at the StubHub Center in Carson until the Inglewood stadium is completed, and that the Rams will continue playing at the Coliseum up until then.
Hopefully, there won't be any further delays, because the stadium is slated to host the Super Bowl in 2021. As noted at ESPN, NFL stadiums must be open for at least two regular seasons before it can host a Super Bowl. Because a 2020 opening won't allow for that, the Rams will now have to apply for waiver to host the event. This may seem like a huge ordeal (and it is), but the Times notes that rules in the NFL are always subject to change, which is to say that planners aren't in panic mode just yet.