Drought-stricken California was drenched in record-breaking waves of rainfall this winter. Dams broke, long-parched rivers swelled up with new life, and dormant colonies of wildflowers surfaced for the first time in decades. Life has been good and green for Californians. Not so much if you’re building an NFL stadium.
The Rams and Chargers are soon going to share a $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood. Construction started in November and the building was supposed to open before the 2019 season. However, as the team announced this morning, that timeline has been pushed back at least a year because of heavy rainfall that essentially stopped construction from January through March.
In the best interest of the project, we have decided to move the opening date to summer of 2020. This new target gives us flexibility to accommodate any additional delays that may arise while still delivering an unparalleled experience upon opening. This is a stadium that Angelenos, visitors and world-class athletes will celebrate for years to come, and we are committed to making sure this venue is exceptional from the day it opens.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the bulk of problematic rainfall came right after construction workers had excavated a huge hole in the ground. After 5 million cubic yards were removed, the rains came and turned the construction site into “a lake, with water standing 12 to 15 feet deep.”
The delay not only keeps the Chargers and Rams in a holding pattern for another year, it also adds some intrigue to Super Bowl LV. The game is supposed to take place in Inglewood, but new stadiums are not allowed to host Super Bowls in the first season.
We’d expect the NFL to grant a waiver to allow the Super Bowl to take place in 2021 as scheduled; the Giants and Jets received one to host the first open-air cold-weather Super Bowl in 2014.
Until the Inglewood stadium does open, the Chargers will play at the L.A. Galaxy’s building in Carson, while the Rams will remain at the Coliseum for the next three seasons. Good thing the stadium experience there was so good last year!