Posted February 04, 2014

NFL now has three legitimate Los Angeles stadium sites in play

NFL rumors
The proposal for Farmers Field would put an NFL stadium in downtown L.A., right next to Staples Center.

The proposal for Farmers Field would put an NFL stadium in downtown L.A., right next to Staples Center. (Courtesy of Farmers Field)

Any discussion about a potential Los Angeles NFL stadium must first start with a chat about a current NFL stadium in need of upgrades. Cue St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchasing a 60-acre parking lot in Inglewood, Calif., nestled between the Hollywood Park racetrack and newly renovated Forum.

This news comes on the heels of the Rams proving unable to successfully convince St. Louis to embark on drastic upgrades to the 1995-opened Edward Jones Dome. And the Kroenke lease expires after 2014.

Let’s talk L.A., shall we?

As we all know by know, the nation’s second-largest market hasn’t had the NFL since 1994, when both the Rams and Raiders vacated the city. And while the NFL flirts with London, whether Wembley Stadium or even a potential new Tottenham soccer-football hybrid, L.A. lingers.

Whether the billionaire sports owner wants the new land — purchased from Walmart following its failed attempt to place a store there — about 10 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles for a stadium or some other business venture, it proves an ample time to remind us that we already have two NFL-sized L.A. stadium proposals on the table. Even if supper has gotten a bit cold on us all.

The Kroenke site

Sixty acres is a large parcel of property. The NFL’s smallest site, Seattle’s CenturyLink Field fits onto 30 acres. The new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara rests on 40 acres. But big-time stadiums can require big-time land, as the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium covers over 73 acres and New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium 75. Without ample parking — remember, the property purchased is the parking — 60 acres might be a smidge small, for L.A. standards.

But if Kroenke can’t get the $700 million upgrades he wants to bring the stadium he leases in St. Louis up to par with the top venues in the league, then maybe 60 acres will work just fine. An Interstate 110 trek away from downtown, the site is already home to sporting structures. And the L.A. area is well warmed up to the idea of a brand-new football building.

Los Angeles Stadium at Grand crossing

We’ve come a long way since Ed Roski, co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings, announced plans to build Los Angeles Stadium at Grand Crossing in 2008. Located in Industry, Calif., Roski says his site is a crossroads location, accessible to over 15.5 million people and just 20 minutes east of downtown L.A., 15 minutes from Disneyland and equal distance from Newport Beach and Hollywood.

The proposed 75,000-seat venue designed by architecture firm Aedas would get built right into the area’s hillside, just one small piece in a plan to turn an entire 600-acre site near the interchange of the 60 and 57 freeways into an entirely new entertainment and retail destination.

Then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger got involved in 2009 and agreements were formed that require the city of Industry to make improvements to the city-owned site whether or not Roski ever builds a stadium. With momentum hot from 2008 right through ’09, we’re reminded that it has been a long time since 2009.

Farmers Field

AEG owner and billionaire Phil Anschutz floated his own plan for the NFL in Los Angeles in 2010, offering up a 68,000-seat stadium in downtown L.A., adjacent to the convention center, L.A. Live and the Staples Center. It grew so popular so fast that Farmers Insurance bought up the naming rights to what is now known as Farmers Field.

The privately funded $1.5 billion retractable roof stadium would tap into the existing infrastructure of the entertainment district to support traffic and parking, something much needed on the minuscule 15 acres of land the stadium must squeeze onto. With the city already on board with the plan, Farmers Field has cleared all the major non-NFL hurdles for their Gensler-designed venue.

Of course, those NFL hurdles sit the highest of all.

Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.

51 comments
RandolphGreer
RandolphGreer

I don't care where the Rams play in Los Angeles as long as they wear their GREAT BLUE AND WHITE UNIFORMS that made them the envy of the League. The best uniforms ever worn. 

ranchosteve85
ranchosteve85

Would love to see the Rams close to Orange/L.A County, so the Roski site makes for the best option, considering that it has the land needed to bring the NFL experience to life. 

StephenGrafton
StephenGrafton

A request: Instead of headlines that say "New L.A. Stadium proposal", from now on the stories are headlined "Small market team that much closer to getting screwed".

pk_sea
pk_sea

I like the AEG proposal, but do they really need a retractable roof football stadium in LA? 

PurpleCity52
PurpleCity52

Just expand two more teams Toronto and LA or just give LA two teams like in baseball and basketball.

ChristieAnnmarieJackson
ChristieAnnmarieJackson

Remind me why Los Angeles needs a team of paid football players when they've already got one in the Trojans.

redman71
redman71

The Rams are not the Rams if they aren't in L.A. Period.

JoeRam
JoeRam

All these scenario's do nothing but fuel speculation with loosely based facts. Until Stan and the NFL truely explain their intentions we are nothing more than their puppets for advertising.

Czarlisle
Czarlisle

If I recall correctly, the reason that the Raiders and Rams left LA was that there was that no public financing was forthcoming.  


Good idea.


I hope the people of LA stick to their guns.  The billionaire owners of the (legally not-for-profit!) NFL should build their own damn stadiums.

MrTimeAttack
MrTimeAttack

Farmers Field is the best option for a number of reasons.  With the revitalization of DTLA in and around the Staples Center/LA Live, access to mass transit, plenty of available parking, MANY places to catch a pre-game meal or drink, available hotel rooms, etc, etc..   Keep in mind that Farmers Field also comes with a new convention center, something that LA desperately needs.

MikeSchultz
MikeSchultz

I HIGHLY DISLIKE L.A. an not just because I've lived in Northern California my Whole Life but HOW CAN THIS MAJOR CITY & MEDIA MARKET not have a NFL Team? The RAMS leaving MISSOURI would be a Good thing cause then the NFC WEST would well truly be the West.

horsley1953
horsley1953

Actually, any mention of potential NFL sites in LA should first start with asking the question: "Why should LA get an NFL team when they already couldn't keep the one they had?".

pirate
pirate

City of Industry site is "15 minutes from Disneyland?" Has the person who said this ever driven to Disneyland? The outer reaches of the DL parking lot are just barely 15 minutes from Disneyland!

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

I hope St. Louis doesn't fall for Kroenke's gambit. The other NFL owners are never going to allow another owner to move to LA when they can offer up an expansion franchise and split a billion dollar fee. I'll bet the NFL expands by two teams in the next few years and announces expanded playoffs at the same time. Further diluting their product. The interesting question is what city besides LA will get a team? San Antonio? Nashville? You can bet it won't be in the rust belt!

mary1lord
mary1lord

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AndyDufresne
AndyDufresne

The key to getting around the "traffic" argument to any of these sites is to allow tailgaiting.  When you have tailgaiting, you allow for a steady stream of traffic in the area hours before the event starts, which lessens the crunch of our typical LA traffic snarls.  As for leaving the stadium, you're talking about late Sunday afternoons; again, the typical LA traffic is a bit lighter (in most spots), and even then, it's only going to be for 10 days a year.

BrianSpiegel
BrianSpiegel

As an LA resident, Farmers Field still seems like the best option. While it is in a bad traffic area, it is home to many parking lots, and rail lines that connect to all parts of the city. They would add more rail lines and trollies too. Also, LA finally gets the Convention Center upgrades they need.

To me the Kronke site is much worse, especially when it comes to traffic. Have you ever tried to get to the Forum for a concert? It is much worse than getting to the Staples Center or the Coliseum...

PaulSteven
PaulSteven

Everything wrong with these site:  

The Kroenke site; where will all the displaced homeowners go?  Will the local homeowners, who homes are butted up against the fence line, go for this?  Traffic

Los Angeles Stadium at Grand crossing; Traffic nightmare for everyone in that part of LA county.  The time estimates by Mr Roski...are a cruel joke, try adding an additional hour plus to those times

Farmers Field; Traffic's ninth level of hell. 


x72
x72

Ladies & Gents....Your Los Angeles Packers

PaulJ.Pelkonen
PaulJ.Pelkonen

I think the Rams and Jaguars will occupy two of these very soon. St Louis and Toronto will then get expansion teams.

Rax
Rax

It seems like the biggest push to get a team into L.A. is usually from the media and the billionaire developers that can get richer. I rarely meet anyone in Southern California that concerned with getting an NFL team in town.

artist
artist

@pk_sea the stadium is going to replace a convention center building.  the reason for the retractable roof is because the stadium will be used as an enclosed building for conventions.

RCH
RCH

@redman71  Do we get the old Blue and white uni's back?

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@redman71 Try telling that to the few Cleveland Rams fans that must still be living.

Ken P
Ken P

@MrTimeAttack  And it's privately funded.  That's the best part.  Though I'd have to see the details to be sure it's 100% privately funded with no new taxes or fees assessed to anyone.

the_clay_bird
the_clay_bird

@MikeSchultz   Until there is an NFC Middle division you are always going to have teams that don't completely line up with their directional division name  (Cowboys East, Indianapolis South, Kansas City West, etc.)  That's not a viable argument for this.  Perfect opportunity for expansion as they are considering expanding the playoffs as well.  The NFL is so wildly popular, another 2 teams (LA and maybe a Toronto or hell despite the logistical nightmares London)   I dont think 2 more teams would super-saturate the league

AndyDufresne
AndyDufresne

@horsley1953  Because the city of LA didn't own the two franchises that were here; they were owned by over-the-top money grabbers.  The entire dynamic has changed in 20 years.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@pirate And getting there from downtown LA in twenty minutes ain't happening either unless you are in a helicopter or in one of those car chases that they show on late night television.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@mary1lord If I send you my bank account info and my social security number will you tell me more?

Serena
Serena

@mary1lord  You know what I'm going to go tell my boss right now that I quit and I'm going to be just like your neighbor's sister in law.


Thanks for opening my eyes to this wonderful opportunity how did we not know about his before :-/

jdbrown
jdbrown

I still don't see Farmers field as being a good choice.  Where are they going to park everyone?  I don't believe the convention center as enough spots to support the stadium.  One spot that has not been mentioned is Dodgers Stadium site.  I would love to see the Dodgers get a new stadium and then build a football stadium next to it (or the other way around).  Biggest hassel would be having to deal with McCourt.

happenstance
happenstance

@BrianSpiegel I agree.  Farmers Field offers many more transit options to and from the stadium than the Inglewood site.  And it's BETTER for vehicle traffic as well, something so few people want to accept. I remember my first game at Staples Center back in '99.  I was expecting a traffic nightmare.  Instead, there was relatively easy flow in and out of downtown surface streets because cars weren't penned into a parking lot like at Dodger Stadium or The Forum.  Nowadays, I just take the Red Line to Staples Center.  It's a beautiful thing. 

happenstance
happenstance

@PaulSteven You've bought into the traffic nightmare scenario for Farmer's Field.  It's simply not true.  


FWIW, a USC study showed that thousands of fans take the newly opened Expo Line to football games at the Coliseum.  The Farmers Field site is served by even more lines. 

Hammer109
Hammer109

@PaulSteven If I'm not mistaken (I'm an LA native but I don't live there now, so correct me if I'm wrong), there is no Metro stop that goes directly to Staples Center.  So if they built a stop there, it would also cover Farmer's Field. I know Angelenos are not big on mass transit, but this might be an exception.  I grew up in the San Fernando Valley.  I've also sat for hours waiting to exit Dodger Stadium and other major LA sports venues.  If I could board a Metro and not have to worry about fighting the traffic, I'd be thrilled. And I don't think I'm the only one.

running180
running180

@PaulJ.Pelkonen  ... The Jags aren't going anywhere soon (maybe London before LA?). But, the NFL isn't expanding to 34 teams. The goal has been 32 teams since the merger and it's the perfect amount of teams for scheduling purposes. 


The only expansion you are going to see is in the schedule. I wouldn't be surprised to see a 17th game added on a neutral field opening up annual games in London, LA and other underrepresented cities. 

villepeople
villepeople

@PaulJ.Pelkonen  The Jaguars are in a strong lease until 2027. And the owner is currently spending tens of millions of his own money to upgrade the locker room, team offices and adding new scoreboards. They aren't going anywhere.

fabio.fantone
fabio.fantone

@Rax Well you haven't spoken to me. All these foolish fans who say "oh, we don't need another team here because then I can't watch all the other game on tv on Sunday" are looking at the small picture. We have a generation of kids in Los Angeles who have never experienced going to a local game or rooting for a local NFL team. We also will never host a SB without a team in this city. We simply NEED a team here to match the other large media markets in this country. Yes, there are arguably more things to do here besides go to a football game than any other city in this country. But that still doesn't diminish the fact we should have a team here. And I think the Rams would be the best candidate to come since they had their longest stretch in any city here in Los Angeles, by far.

digital_artist
digital_artist

@JoeCabot @redman71 the rams were only in cleveland for 8 seasons while their stay in los angeles lasted almost 50 years.  i don't think there are any hardcore fans left in cleveland who would care enough to want them back.

BrianSpiegel
BrianSpiegel

@Hammer109 @PaulStevenThere is a metro station right next to the Staples Center, and it connects to the Long Beach, Pasadena and Santa Monica area. To me, that is the best thing about the Farmers Field option.

Rax
Rax

@fabio.fantone @Rax  Most people are already fans of another team. Raiders, Chargers, Cowboys, Niners. There are some older Rams fans. But I think unless it is the Raiders or Chargers moving here, the reception is going to be lukewarm once the honeymoon phase ends.

running180
running180

@digital_artist @JoeCabot @redman71  ... The Cleveland Rams argument is the most stupid argument. 50 years in LA > 20 years in St. Louis > 8 years in Cleveland.


St. Louis has a greater claim to the Rams than Cleveland does. Then there's the whole 60+ years of the Browns in Cleveland you're dealing with. Try to not make an issue where there isn't one.


The Rams belong in LA!

FrankStrazzulla
FrankStrazzulla

@Rax @fabio.fantone  it will never be the Raiders unless the team is sold and renamed/rebranded.  Raider fans don't buy skyboxes and as the only demographically based fanbase in the NFL (the wrong ones) they'd scare the big money types needed to make a stadium work

bjl
bjl

@Rax @fabio.fantone  As a Niners fan living in Socal, I would love for the Rams to return to LA for the opportunity to see my team play once a year.