An investment group controlled by the owner of the St. Louis Rams NFL team has joined forces with Stockbridge Capital Group, which owns the 298-acre Hollywood Park site in Inglewood, Calif., to add an 80,000-seat football stadium and 6,000-seat performance arena to a massive mixed-use development Stockbridge already has in the works, according to the Los Angeles Times and other news reports.
A year ago, Kroenke Group purchased 60 acres of land adjacent to the Forum arena in Inglewood. With its deal with Stockbridge, Kroenke Group’s owner, billionaire real estate developer Stan Kroenke, becomes the first existing NFL owner to control enough land in the Los Angeles market to accommodate a football stadium and parking since the Rams left L.A. for St. Louis after the 1994 season.
For decades, team owners in other cities have used the threat of relocating to Los Angeles as leverage for negotiating improvements to their own stadiums from local municipalities or states. And Kroenke has expressed displeasure with the conditions of Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, where the Rams currently play.
The Times reports that next month the Rams can opt out of its 30-year lease in St. Louis 10 years early and convert it to a year-to-year arrangement. But the earliest the Rams could relocate to Los Angeles would be 2016.
No tax dollars would be used to build the Hollywood Park development, including the stadium. The investors are already gathering signatures to put the project onto the city’s municipal ballot this year. Inglewood’s Mayor James Butts, Jr. is on record supporting this project, which the investors have dubbed the City of Champions Revitalization Project.
The developer Wilson Meany, with offices in L.A. and San Francisco, is heading up this development, which, if approved, could be completed by 2018. HKS Architects is also involved in this project.
Kroenke and Stockbridge’s proposal is competing with at least two other plans for new stadiums in or around L.A. The entertainment giant AEG, which owns this city’s professional hockey and soccer teams, wants to build a $1.5 billion football stadium in downtown L.A., called Farmers Field, along with a new wing for the city’s nearby convention center. Another real estate magnate, Ed Roski, has had a stadium plan for City of Industry, Calif., on the table for several years. However, neither of these competing plans has mustered a commitment from an NFL team to relocate.
The Hollywood Park project would include more than 4 million sf of retail, office, and residential space, and 25 acres of parks. But to move forward, the Rams would have to commit to moving, and the project would need to get past any political or environmental opposition.