As the NFL ends the 2015 season with pomp and spectacle at Super Bowl 50, work continues this week on a new Inglewood NFL stadium that will surely end hosting plenty of big games in the future — and also serving as a potential West Coast center of operations for the circuit.
The $2.6-billion stadium is the centerpiece of a 298-acre development at the old Hollywood Park racetrack that will include entertainment, commercial, and residential and possibly a 6,000-seat theater and the headquarters of West Coast operations for the NFL. It features a cutting-edge design, with the field and seating bowl covered with a transparent ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) roof. The sides of the stadium will be open, however, to let those Southern California breezes into the seating bowl.
While several NFL stadiums built in the past decade incorporate retractable roofs to protect against weather and to host events on non-game days, HKS principal Mark Williams, AIA, says the Rams’ fixed, clear roof will actually be more versatile. “You’ve got beautiful weather 350 or so days out of the year, and you want to take advantage of that,” he says. “But if you’re spending billions of dollars, you want to have events 365 days a year no matter what the conditions are outside.”
Work on the new stadium began in June 2014 with site work, but the award of the Los Angeles market to the Rams
The stadium’s proponents envision Inglewood hosting multiple Super Bowls, the Pro Bowl, the NFL scouting combine, the Final Four, World Cup matches and Olympic events. The NFL is currently deciding how much of the development’s 780,000 square feet of office space will be used by the league for everything from its digital ventures to its TV network, creating a West Coast hub for the sport….
“This is one of the most sophisticated sports complexes that will ever be built,” said [development manager Chris] Meany, a Pasadena native who grew up rooting for the Rams. “The one absolute is that that stadium and its surrounding parking grounds and support network all has to be 100 percent done. Nothing else that we build on site will take as long to build as the stadium will. So while we do not have the luxury to delay any work on the stadium, Stan still has time to decide exactly which ingredients he wants delivered at the same time.”
There is plenty to do in what’s likely to be the world’s most expensive stadium when finished.
The football field is only the centerpiece of a sprawling campus including a 6,000-seat theater, about 2,500 residential units, 895,000 square feet of retail space, a 300-room hotel and that extensive office space fronting Prairie Avenue. At least 25 acres of parks, playgrounds and green space — mostly irrigated with reclaimed water in drought-stricken California — will be available to the public on the 340 or so days when football isn’t being played.