The Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., part of the L.A. Stadium Entertainment and Sports District, is set to open in 2021 and will host Super Bowl LVI (February 2022), the 2023 College Football National Championship and the 2028 Summer Olympic Games, not to mention serving as the home field for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers of the National Football League. We have some time before the grand opening, but let us check in on what the stadium and development means for the future of sports.
Like many things in life, the cost always goes up. Stadium-building is no exception. The architect for the Hollywood Park project, HKS, Inc. founded in 1939 by Harwood K. Smith, has built some of the most recognizable sports stadiums in modern times, including: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minn.; AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas; American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas; Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas; Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.; Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wis.; Liverpool Football Club, Stanley Park, Liverpool, England (Stanley Park Stadium); Club Santos Laguna, Nuevo Estadio Corona, Torreón, Coahuila; U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Ill. (2001–2007 renovations); not to mention The Palazzo, Las Vegas, Nev. and Venetian Macau, Macau, China, among others.
Along with seat licenses hovering at $100,000 USD, the total stadium cost is nearing, if not more than, $5 billion. It is the most expensive sports stadium in history and nearly double the cost of the next closest. Its total cost is double the price of the Oakland Raiders’ stadium in Las Vegas. Moreover, it is the 5th most expensive building in the world, ranking above Apple’s second campus. The best part: the entire project is privately funded without using taxpayer dollars. It is possible there will be tax breaks and discounted land, but not direct tax dollars, Angelinos.
2021, which will host home games for the Rams and Chargers along with entertainment and sports programming.
Crossover between Entertainment and Sports
Per Forbes, “Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park is expected to be among the grandest of sports structures we’ve ever seen erected. It sits on 60 acres of land and already includes a casino. Needless to say, the venue is about much more than sports Essentially, this is a real estate project that just so happens to include an NFL stadium. Hence, the ridiculously high cost to erect. We’re looking at 900,000 square feet of retail space, 800,000 square feet of office space and 2,500 new residential units. Yeah, it’s a monster of a site.”
The Hollywood Park venue will literally take after its namesake and be a destination, a tourist attraction and an entertainment and sports venue all rolled into one. Making a sports stadium about entertainment and the entertainment for fans and patrons is nothing new, but on this scale, it is something new. It is the combination of Las Vegas lights with deep history of Los Angeles sports and entertainment.
Will the Clippers follow?
On October 17, 2019, the Staples Center will be 20 years old and is still considered one of the premiere venues and destinations in sports and entertainment. L.A. Live, surrounding the Staples Center, is easily recognizable to locals, across America and the world. However, Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer likely wants to get out from under the shadow of the Lakers and start his own team history on the land next to the Forum where the Lakers once played and made history. The Forum is across the street from the Ram’s Hollywood Park project and if the Clippers move to the area, the combined projects would be one of the most sought-after entertainment and sports destinations in the world. Of course, any stadium comes with legal troubles and disputes. However, if Ballmer wants to move the Clippers further west from Downtown Los Angeles, his arena would challenge the Forum for events and would add another $1 to $3 billion to the ongoing price tag in Inglewood. Knowing Ballmer’s history, he is likely to privately fund a new arena like the Ram’s Stan Kroenke, while looking to get some real estate tax breaks on land.
The development of the Inglewood area will be fascinating to watch.