clear
Sunday June 25th, 2017 8:22AM

Stadium for Rams, Chargers delayed; won't open until 2020

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The first kickoff at the palatial new home of the Rams and the Chargers is scheduled to happen a year later than originally planned.

The opening of the NFL teams' $2.6 billion football stadium in Inglewood was pushed back to 2020 on Thursday because of construction delays caused by Los Angeles' uncommonly wet winter.

The delay could affect the NFL's plan to play the 2021 Super Bowl in the stadium, and it will cost the Rams as-yet uncounted millions in revenue and construction costs. Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who is financing the project, decided the delay was worth it.

"Economics were not a factor in this decision whatsoever," said Kevin Demoff, the Rams' chief operating officer. "Stan's decision on this was based on delivering a world-class stadium at the highest quality possible, and that was the only basis for this decision. If it incurred extra costs by delaying, that was fine as long as we delivered the stadium that met his vision and what this project needs to be."

The 70,000-seat stadium will be shared by the two teams that both relocated to the Los Angeles area in the previous 16 months. The massive project also includes a 300-acre entertainment district, a 6,000-seat performance arena and extensive office space and retail space.

The stadium, which is also expected to be part of the Los Angeles bid for the 2024 Olympics, was scheduled to open right before the 2019 NFL preseason after an accelerated construction schedule. The complex is now slated to open a few months before the 2020 NFL season begins.

"Obviously, it's a disappointment when you've been working on something every day and you have a setback," Demoff said "(But) our organization has always taken the long-term approach on the Los Angeles project, and this is important to get right."

The Super Bowl already has been awarded to the stadium for Feb. 7, 2021, although the NFL now would have to waive a rule that prohibits a Super Bowl being played at a stadium before it has hosted two full regular seasons. The NFL hasn't yet decided how it will react to the just-announced delay, but the Rams realize their plans to host the Los Angeles area's first Super Bowl in 28 years could be in jeopardy.

"Our focus in this process is this building should host multiple Super Bowls over many generations, and we need to make sure we deliver a building that is an exceptional, Super Bowl-quality building," Demoff said. "Our focus is more on the caliber of building than the exact year of the Super Bowl."

The delay isn't a major surprise to either team, since developers have long said they were attempting to complete the project for 2019 on a fast-forwarded schedule. The delay will allow construction to proceed at a more conventional pace.

"If getting it right means pushing back the completion date, then I think the extra year is well worth it," said A.G. Spanos, the Chargers' president of business operations. "Construction is our family business, so we understand the challenges that come with a project of this magnitude."

And the delay shouldn't disrupt the Los Angeles teams' current playing arrangements: The Rams plan to stay downtown in the Coliseum for the 2019 season, while the Chargers confirmed they will stay at the 30,000-seat StubHub Center in suburban Carson. The Rams moved to the Coliseum in 2016, while the Chargers are moving north from San Diego for the upcoming season.

The Rams have been approved by the NFL to introduce new uniforms for the 2019 season, but they haven't decided whether to hold their rebranding until 2020, Demoff said.

Developers blame the delays on record rains in the Los Angeles area over the past several months. After ground was broken in November, the rainfall hindered the extensive excavation necessary to complete the project, forcing the crews to halt work for most of January and February.

"To really put it out there on a rush-rush basis just because of the weather didn't really make sense to anyone," said Dale Koger, the senior vice president of Legends, the firm managing the stadium's design and construction. "It just makes a lot of sense to go with a more conventional schedule."

Six million cubic yards of dirt have been removed to reach 90 feet below ground level — an extra-large excavation required to sink the stadium in compliance with FAA requirements due to the nearby Los Angeles international airport. During the height of the winter rain, that bowl filled with 15 feet of water, putting a halt to work, Koger said.

The ambitious stadium project backed by Kroenke, the billionaire real estate developer, was a prime factor in the league's decision to allow the Rams to come home from St. Louis last year, returning the NFL to Los Angeles after a 21-year absence from the nation's second-largest market. The Chargers exercised their opportunity to join the Rams in Los Angeles four months ago.

___

For more NFL coverage: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Business, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Unsuspecting Walmart customer takes down startled deer
A confused white-tailed deer that wandered into a Walmart store in Minnesota ran into a startled customer who tackled the animal to the ground
2:00PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Lawmakers demand swift action for Turkish Embassy violence
Senior Republicans on Capitol Hill are demanding the Trump administration take swift and severe action against the Turkish government in response to violence involving members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail
1:58PM ( 9 minutes ago )
States scramble to comply with federal ID law
As a deadline approaches on the federal REAL ID Act, lawmakers across the country have been scrambling for legislative fixes so residents can board flights and travel without confusion
1:55PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
US out of ice hockey worlds after 2-0 QF defeat to Finland
US out of ice hockey worlds after 2-0 quarterfinal defeat to Finland, Russia through to semifinals
1:41PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Djokovic beats Bautista Agut to reach Italian Open QFs
Four-time champion Novak Djokovic beat Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets on Thursday to ease into the quarterfinals of the Italian Open
1:21PM ( 46 minutes ago )
Todd Pletcher takes sure and steady approach to Preakness
Todd Pletcher takes sure and steady approach to Preakness with Derby winner Always Dreaming
1:19PM ( 48 minutes ago )
AP Sports
10 Things to Know for Thursday
Among 10 Things to Know for Tuesday: Who will lead the probe into possible Trump-Russia collusion; Travelers ponder laptop ban on flights from Europe to U.S.
9:07PM ( 17 hours ago )
Battery complaint dropped against Browns draftee Brantley
Prosecutors dismiss battery complaint against Browns rookie defensive lineman Caleb Brantley
5:12PM ( 20 hours ago )
Gisele Bundchen: Tom Brady had a concussion last year
Gisele Bundchen says her husband Tom Brady suffered a concussion last year, a season in which he started all the games he was eligible to play in while quarterbacking the Patriots to another Super Bowl title
4:53PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Fiancee says Aaron Hernandez denied rumors he was gay
The fiancee of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez says Hernandez told her rumors that he was gay or bisexual were not true
6:13PM ( 1 day ago )
Cardinals QB Palmer to ease way up on offseason throwing
Quarterback Carson Palmer only stood and watched as the Arizona Cardinals went through their first offseason workout
5:20PM ( 1 day ago )
Cincinnati Bengals' 'Pacman' Jones pleads guilty to 1 charge
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones has pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge from an altercation this year
5:05PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Lawmakers demand swift action for Turkish Embassy violence
Senior Republicans on Capitol Hill are demanding the Trump administration take swift and severe action against the Turkish government in response to violence involving members of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail
1:58PM ( 9 minutes ago )
States scramble to comply with federal ID law
As a deadline approaches on the federal REAL ID Act, lawmakers across the country have been scrambling for legislative fixes so residents can board flights and travel without confusion
1:55PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Chris Cornell, 1 of rock's respected voices, dies at 52
Chris Cornell, the lead singer of the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died at age 52
1:48PM ( 19 minutes ago )
The Latest: Autopsy: Cornell killed himself by hanging
A medical examiner has determined that Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell committed suicide by hanging in a Detroit hotel room following a concert
1:46PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Russian FM mocks US media over intelligence-sharing reports
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is mocking U.S. news reports suggesting President Donald Trump inappropriately shared sensitive intelligence with him about terror threats involving laptops on airplanes
1:46PM ( 21 minutes ago )