Due to record-setting rainfall in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers’ plans to move into their new Inglewood, California stadium have been delayed to 2020.
Construction on the $2.6 billion stadium had been continually pushed back due to 15.4 inches of rain reported at nearby Los Angeles International Airport between when the stadium broke ground in November 2016 and February, which is nearly double the average amount for the area. The site of the future home of the Rams/Chargers has lately been filled with 12 to 15 feet of water at times.
It was originally scheduled to be finished during 2019, and is currently set to host Super Bowl LV in 2021, but there is currently a rule in place that prohibits a stadium from hosting a Super Bowl during its inaugural season. The NFL owners will now have to vote to propose a waiver for the rule in order to allow the event to take place.
Currently the Rams are residing in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with this upcoming season being their second in the city since leaving St. Louis. Meanwhile, the Chargers announced their move to LA in January, and are set to take the field this season at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA.
This is yet another bump in the road for commissioner Roger Goodell and executives in the NFL who have taken a lot of criticism for a lack of initiative taken in providing teams with the ability to remain in their current facilities. The Oakland Raiders recently announced their plans to move to Las Vegas after the 2018 NFL season, marking the third team to seek relocation in the last two years.
As one who originally opposed the Rams move to Los Angeles in the first place, I think it’s clear to see the repercussions that the league is now facing by rushing into these decisions on relocating teams before all options for staying put are exhausted. Smaller markets like St. Louis and San Diego suffer heavily, and large markets like Los Angeles are not going to appreciate the newly-acquired Rams and Chargers like they once were. With three franchise currently undergoing a transition process, Goodell and the NFL as a corporation has made their priorities very transparent, and the list doesn’t include fans near the top. The Rams/Chargers Inglewood Stadium will be spectacular, and will draw in huge amounts of revenue, but with this delay, I just have to suggest that the world works in mysterious ways.