The $3-billion Los Angeles Rams stadium will seat 80,000.
When it opens for football season in the fall of 2019, the National Football League’s Rams stadium will be the first indoor/outdoor venue of its kind, with qualities and characteristics reflecting the team’s new home in the Los Angeles area.
After more than two decades, NFL owners voted 30-2 on Jan. 12 to allow the St. Louis Rams to move to California this year. The team’s temporary home was not yet determined at press time. The team moved, despite St. Louis’ proposed $1.1-billion riverfront stadium to keep it in the city, which would have included $400 million in public funding. The estimated $3-billion L.A. Stadium project will be entirely privately funded.
The stadium came to fruition in January 2014, when Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchased 60 acres of land adjacent to Inglewood, Calif.-based Hollywood Park Racetrack for an estimated $101 million. The 238-acre defunct track, owned by San Francisco’s Stockbridge Capital, was shut down in December 2013. The two parties later agreed to combine properties to create what will reportedly be the NFL’s largest stadium in terms of square footage.
An area over the playing field will be constructed of a transparent material called Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene.
The 80,000-seat stadium will be part of a mixed-development project that includes up to 890,000 square feet of retail, 780,000 square feet of office space, 2,500 residential units, a 300-room hotel and 25 acres of outdoor public park space.
“We spent a lot of time at the beginning of this project studying the Southern California market and experience, trying to understand the DNA of that region,” said Mark A.Williams, principal, director of business development, HKS Sports & Entertainment, Dallas, Texas. “We came up with some strong characteristics and qualities that we incorporated into the design.”
The building will be set 100 feet into the ground with a 175-foot above-ground profile. Its design was created to enhance the indoor/outdoor experience in a unique way, with openings on the sides.
“Homes and restaurants in the region have areas that flow from indoors to outdoors, with glass doors that open to patio spaces for outdoor living,” said Williams. “That's embedded in Southern California designs due to weather conditions, and this was one big thing we carried through in the stadium’s design.”
The plan also was created with the intention of putting the stadium on a global stage much like Los Angeles is with movies, celebrities and fashion.
As a result, the venue incorporates dramatic components, including a rough canopy sculpted over the entire stadium and outdoor space, with everything below open air.
This is the first design of its kind that will provide an indoor/outdoor experience.
“Typically, these venues are either completely open structures, include a retractable roof or are totally closed off to the outside,” said Williams. “This canopy will provide protection from the elements when needed, but offer incredible air flow, winds and ocean breezes anywhere in the seating bowl, which will be very unique.”
The roof will have metal borders, and an area over the playing field will be constructed of a transparent material called Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene or ETFE, an extremely strong copolymer resin that is extruded into a thin film. This has also been incorporated into the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium design.
The second main design component derives from experiences in great architecture and buildings, considering the facility will play host to both fans and A-list celebrities.
“We considered how the public would interact in the space, creating areas specifically to be a stage in an entertainment-type format,” said Williams. “This includes a very diverse set of products within the building for a wide range of demographics to interact, hang out and people watch in a cool environment.”
On the technology side, the design calls for patrons to be fully immersed in media, with video board viewing from every seat.
“Like the video boards we incorporated into Arlington, Texas’ AT&T Stadium that have HDTV, we’ve taken it a step further with this project,” said Williams. “The two-sided video boards will give everyone within the environment the constant ability to see the electronic media connection, whether it’s the LA Rams, other games, product promotions or information about sponsors, the content will be flexible.”
San Francisco-based Wilson Meany, developer of the Hollywood Park site, has been kept on as project manager to do site planning and development work.
“This joint venture has been worked on for about the last two years,” said Gerard McCallum, project manager at Wilson Meany.
The firm is entitled to include a 6,000-seat performance art venue as part of the same complex, while the rest of entitlements are 800,000 square feet of retail space in an open mall-type concept.
“This also will include 26 acres of public park space, and we can build up to 2,500 homes, both single family and apartments, in addition to a 300-room hotel and just shy of 8,000 square feet of Grade A office space,” said McCallum.
The timeline for the entire project is between seven and 10 years for overall completion. At press time, the construction drawings were 80 percent complete.
Wilson Meany has been working the site’s infrastructure for the last year-and-a-half. It is now in the process of pulling permits and will begin grading over the next two to three months. The design has largely been finalized.
“We are way into the design and documentation,” said Williams. “Although many components are firmed up, we’re constantly analyzing, and there may be minor tweaks and modifications as we move forward.”
Interviewed for this story: Gerard McCallum, (310) 382-9022; Mark Williams, (214) 969-3249