The long-promising plan to build an NFL stadium in Downtown LA died earlier this month so that its life/advertising force could flow into a new most-promising plan in Inglewood. For 20 years, LA NFL stadium plans have emerged and eventually withered, passing on their powers and their crazy number of billboards so that the next plan may burn with even brighter ridiculousness. Nearly three months after announcing that he plans to build an NFL stadium in Inglewood, St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke has revealed some details and renderings for the project, which will have a huge, clear roof that can be used "to create the world's biggest billboard" directly under the flight path of LAX. But that's merely the most alarming feature of what the LA Times calls "the world's most interactive and integrated football stadium" (they don't explain how it's interactive or integrated, but who cares if a football stadium is interactive or integrated anyway).
The stadium, designed by HKS, will be open on the sides but covered by a huge roof made out of ETFE, "which is as clear as a car windshield and strong enough to support the weight of a vehicle." It'll stretch over the stadium, as well as the accompanying Champions Plaza and neighboring 6,000-seat performing arts venue. HKS is looking into perforated metal panels, which they hope will "cast [patterns] on the ground like sunlight through a tree."
While the Downtown NFL stadium had a retractable roof, Kroenke feels a full roof is necessary in Inglewood for two reasons: so the venue can host "a wider range of events," and so Kroenke can sell it to advertisers, projecting their images or animations onto the expanse and providing people flying into LAX with that comforting feeling that they're landing in the future world of Idiocracy.
The stadium itself, which will have artificial turf, has to be sunk 100 feet into the ground because it's so close to the airport; the roof will rise 175 feet above ground level. It'll be accessible to patrons from all sides, with loading and mechanical stuff all underground and accessible via tunnels.
It's estimated the site will need 21,000 parking spaces on game days, but the stadium itself only comes with 9,000 spaces; Kroenke promises "roughly 45,000 spaces within a mile of the stadium on game days."
Kroenke has not yet committed his own Rams to the project, but HKS's designs are fit for two teams (the NFL has said it would like two in LA), with two sets of lockers rooms, offices, and owners' suites. But that could be mainly for show: "it is widely believed Kroenke does not want to share the market with another NFL team right away, and, because he would be assuming the risk of the stadium by himself, would want to reap the benefits of getting his team up and running as L.A.'s sole franchise."
Kroenke will now take these plans to the NFL's Annual Meeting in Arizona this week; he'll need to convince three-quarters of his fellow owners to back the stadium if he wants to get it built and move a team to Los Angeles. (The vote probably won't take place until the fall, though.)
HKS thinks it can permits for the stadium by December and build the whole thing in under three years. Kroenke is financing the plan, but the public will also have to kick in a significant amount in the form of tax rebates. Meanwhile, a rival plan in Carson—backed by the Chargers and the Raiders—is making its own way through the approvals process.
· Stan Kroenke ready to show NFL owners detailed Inglewood stadium plans [LAT]
· Rams Owner Planning to Build an NFL Stadium in Inglewood [Curbed LA]
· The Raiders and Chargers Just Proposed a Joint NFL Stadium in the Los Angeles Suburbs [Curbed LA]