NFL's Los Angeles Stadium Opening Delayed to 2020
Heavy rains pushed back construction for the Rams and Chargers new $2.6 billion stadium.
When everything's going according to plan. © Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Rams and Chargers will have to wait almost a full year longer than expected before moving into their two-and-a-half billion dollar digs. Originally scheduled to open for the 2019 season, the new NFL company town—sorry, "L.A. Stadium and Entertainment District"—in Inglewood won't be ready until the 2020 season, with uncharacteristically rainy weather shouldering the blame.
Per the Los Angeles Times:
"The continuing rains really knocked us for a loop," Bob Aylesworth, principal in charge for the Turner/AECOM Hunt joint venture that is building the stadium, told The Times. "It was a very unforgiving two months for the project. And speaking from a building perspective, it really couldn't have come at a worse time."
According to the Times, the area received double the average amount of rainfall between November and February, which led construction to shut down more or less entirely for two months.
Two months doesn't seem like a lot of time to make up for a project that was still two years away from completion, at least until you remember the unrivaled greed of the NFL. Everyone was so desperate to get this stadium open as quickly as possible that the existing construction schedule left almost no room for error. That, coupled with the scheduling logistics of housing two teams, gave developers almost no choice but to push the timeline back.
The stadium is currently set to host the Super Bowl in 2021, meaning this delay will run afoul of an NFL rule that prohibits a stadium from hosting the event in its inaugural season. Teams can apply for a waiver, which they surely will, and which the NFL will surely grant.
The Rams had an option in their contract with USC to stay on at the L.A. Coliseum for 2019, and they have exercised it. The Chargers will similarly play one more year at their temporary home, the 27,000-seat StubHub Center in Carson.
Just sayin': the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis and Qualcomm in San Diego are available.