We end 2017 with a countdown of the 10 biggest stories of the year on Football Stadium Digest, as chosen by editors and partially based on page views. Today, #5: The opening of the new Los Angeles stadium, future home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, is pushed back a year.
Last January, the Rams announced its plans to move from St Louis back to Los Angeles with the intention of moving into a new stadium that would be constructed in Inglewood. While the Rams have spent the past two seasons playing home games at the LA Coliseum, construction delays have meant more time away from what will become the team’s permanent home.
Sunny California experienced heavy rainfall in the early phases of construction, which put construction behind schedule and caused the tentative opening date for the new Los Angeles Stadium to be pushed back to 2020. The Los Angeles Airport-near the stadium-recorded 15.4 inches of rain between November to February. More from The Los Angeles Times:
The rain fell at a crucial stage of construction when work centered on digging the enormous hole – 5 million cubic yards of dirt were excavated – in which the stadium will sit. At times, the site looked like a lake, with water standing 12 to 15 feet deep.
The delay not only pushed back the stadium opening but also changed Super Bowl plans. Los Angeles was slated to host Super Bowl LV in 2021, which has now been moved to Tampa Bay. Los Angeles will host Super Bowl LVI instead.
In addition, the two teams that will occupy the new stadium are expected to remain in their current homes until it opens. That means the Rams will remain at the Coliseum through 2019, while the Chargers will continue to call the StubHub Center home.
Since the initial weather delay, it’s been full steam ahead for the estimated $2.6-billion project. The stadium will be the centerpiece of a 298-acre sports and entertainment district that will include a hotel, retail, offices and housing.
As The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this year, Chris Hibbs, chief revenue officer for the L.A. Stadium and Entertainment District, and his staff have already started selling suites even though the venue won’t open for another few years. Prices for the suites aren’t being made public. The Los Angeles Times added that the center has been used to sell companies interested in naming rights and sponsorship and the International Olympic Committee on L.A. hosting the Games.
Construction is currently on schedule for the new opening date of 2020. The site which is estimated to be three and a half times bigger than Disneyland is expected to exceed its 50- year lifespan but time will tell.
Previously in our Top Ten Stories of 2017 List:
#6: NFL Stadium Renovations
#7: Colorado State Stadium Opens
#8: The Los Angeles Chargers
#9: The Opening of Daily’s Place
#10: The Georgia Dome Closes