With the votes of 30 very rich people, the Rams have been given permission to return to Los Angeles after two decades, along with the monopolistic, abuser-shielding concussion-lovers at the NFL. Yay. And it's much more than a few dozen players and a handful of Super Bowls they're bringing with them: Rams owner Stan Kroenke, known for his ruthlessness, has already broken ground on a huge stadium complex on the former site of the Hollywood Park racetrack, adjacent to an enormous mixed-use development that will include housing, office space, retail, a hotel, and a lake (altogether it covers about 300 acres), which Kroenke is co-developing with Stockbridge Capital Group. Work has already begun on the project, the stadium site is a dirt pit, and in December the LA Times reported that "If developers get the green light from the league, they say, stadium construction can begin within a couple of weeks." This will be the building football fans across the US think of when they think of Los Angeles, so let's take a tour, shall we?
The stadium project was completely approved only about a month after Kroenke announced it. Normally in California, large development projects have to go through a lengthy environmental review process, but clever Kroenke came up with a workaround: he got it on the ballot in Inglewood, funding a signature campaign to put the matter to a vote, which didn't even have to take place—the ballot qualification alone opened the door for the city council to give a simple approval without all those pesky environmental docs or voters getting in the way.
The stadium that Inglewood approved was designed by HKS and will be the NFL's biggest, at nearly three million square feet. It features "a sail-shaped roof that's twice as big as the stadium and shelters the football field, an adjacent 6,000-seat performing arts venue and the 'Champions Plaza' in between," according to the LAT. That cover—which will be open on the sides—will be transparent, but also programmable as "the world's biggest billboard," and it sits right under LAX's flight path, so that's a new dystopian touch to the landscape.
Inside, the stadium can equally accommodate two teams, so if the Chargers decide to take the NFL up on its offer to move in with the Rams, neither owner will have to suffer with a smaller suite than the other. The seating area will hold 70,240 seats, plus room for 30,000 more in standing-room only conditions, plus 274 suites and 16,300 premium suites—that means tons and tons of money for the teams and the NFL.
Fine, but what about the parking?? While the stadium will be within about a mile of a future Crenshaw Line rail stop, it also sits on "the most parking-rich location in the Los Angeles basin," according to the development manager for the Hollywood Park Land Co. That means 9,000 on-site parking spaces, including 1,000 reserved underneath the stadium for VIPs, plus 3,000 spaces at the neighboring Forum, and, supposedly, 41,000 more parking spaces within a mile and a half. The developers think they'll need about 21,000 spaces for their largest events, which could include Super Bowls, conventions, and even Final Fours.
Meanwhile, wrangling is still going on with the FAA over the height and shininess of the stadium, since it sits so close to LAX. Still, according to the Rams relocation application, the stadium should be ready in 2019.
· Inglewood Approves NFL Stadium; Work Can Start This Year [Curbed LA]
· All the Reasons Why the St. Louis Rams Think the NFL Should Let Them Move to Los Angeles [Curbed LA]
· Inglewood NFL Stadium Reveals Plans For Enormous, See-Through, Billboard Roof [Curbed LA]