Record rainfall in Los Angeles has caused significant construction delays, postponing the opening date of shared Rams/Chargers stadium in Inglewood, Calif., by one year.
Developers broke ground in November, but a six-month period between October and April produced 120 percent of the area’s average annual rainfall, resulting in the need to evacuate the site.
The new projected opening for the stadium is summer of 2020, rather than fall 2019. Managing director of project development Dale Koger called the project’s initial timeline "very aggressive," saying the new, more conventional target date will allow for routine delays.
Chargers president of business operations A.G. Spanos told ESPN, "Our future home will be the best stadium in the NFL and deliver a transformational experience for Chargers fans. If getting it right means pushing back the completion date, then I think the extra year is well worth it.”
The teams plan to go ahead with personal seat license sales this fall. In the meantime, the Rams will continue to play at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, while the Chargers have secured another year at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
The $2.6 billion stadium, with the working title L.A. Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, had been approved to host Super Bowl LV in February 2021 prior to the delays — NFL rules state that a venue cannot be host at the end of its inaugural season. The league would have to provide a waiver in order for the event to go ahead as scheduled.
NFL executives estimated that the postponed occupation date would cost the Rams would lose approximately $80 million in potential revenue.
Rams COO Kevin Demoff acknowledged the loss, saying, "Certainly there will be a revenue hit, and there will be an added-expense hit — but this is not a decision about economics. This is a decision based on quality and fan experience."
Koger told ESPN that the addition of the stadium will be "transformative to the area … and to really put it out there on a rush-rush basis because of the weather just didn't make a lot of sense to anyone.”
"Mr. Kroenke and the Spanos family got together, came to us, we studied it, and it just makes a lot of sense to go with a more conventional schedule,” he said.