This new Los Angeles Rams stadium better be good.
We know it will be expensive, to a record level. Sports Business Journal reported that costs for the new stadium in Inglewood have passed $4 billion. You read that right.
Stadium costs have gone way up through the years, but no other stadium in the United States has come anywhere close to this. SBJ said the most expensive stadium previous to this was MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and that cost $1.7 billion. The Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas is expected to cost more than $2 billion. That’s still less than half of what the Rams stadium, which will also be used by the Los Angeles Chargers, will cost.
Cost keeps rising
When Rams owner Stan Kroenke first got approval to move his team from St. Louis to Los Angeles, his proposed stadium was slated to cost $2.3 billion, SBJ said. That would have been the most expensive stadium in U.S. sports. About $2 billion has been added onto the cost since then.
In March, the Los Angeles Times reported the price had crept to about $3 billion. Sports Business Journal said the price is now an estimated $4.25 billion. SBJ cited sources that were involved in a bank meeting on May 4 to arrange a $2.25 billion loan.
What is costing so much?
The stadium project always had big expectations. It was designed to be an enormous complex, designed to be an entertainment district as well as host big events like Super Bowls.
The extra costs, in part, come from ensuring the stadium can withstand an earthquake, SBJ reported. There have also been other costs like access roads and utilities that are adding to the price tag.
That $4.25 billion figure doesn’t even include the entire complex. It does include a 6,000-seat amphitheater, SBJ said, but not retail space and commercial development or a new NFL Network headquarters. When all that is included, the total project cost could exceed $5 billion, Sports Business Journal said.
Kroenke has $1.6 billion invested
SBJ broke down the investment in the stadium as $2.25 billion for various banks, $1.6 billion for Kroenke and $400 million from the NFL’s stadium financing fund. The Chargers will also pay off a portion of the debt costs, SBJ said.
Kroenke’s investment “is unprecedented,” a banker told Sports Business Journal.
SBJ explained how the Rams will pay down the debt — they’ll use the bank credit as construction advances, and use personal seat license fees to pay down the debt — but SBJ said the interest alone could be more than $50 million a year.
The stadium’s opening was already delayed a year due to weather issues. Once the stadium does open in 2020, it will be among the best stadiums in all of sports, and there’s a good chance it will top that list. But until that first Rams game in the new park, Kroenke is probably hoping another billion or so isn’t added onto the price tag.
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