Inglewood’s stadium dreams became more real on Tuesday when HKS, an architecture firm hired by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, presented stunning new renderings of the project. The inspiring presentation vividly captured the look and field of the future sports venue.
Since Kroenke purchased 60 acres in Inglewood last year, rumors surfaced that it was a ploy to make St. Louis meet his demands for a new Rams stadium. But now, with just one season under contract at Edward Jones Dome, and armed with finished plans to NFL owners meeting in Arizona this week, it doesn’t appear that Kroenke is playing games—at least not in St. Louis. Analysts say the billionaire sports and real estate tycoon would never invest money in Inglewood if he did not intend to relocate his team.
Fortunately, Kroenke has lots of ammunition. The proposed 80,000-seat stadium is packed with amenities that provide football fans with fresh new experiences. It is described as “the world's most interactive and integrated football stadium, a futuristic, $1.86-billion, privately financed venue proposed for the Hollywood Park site in Inglewood.”
The NFL has the final say on whether the Rams will move to Inglewood or remain in St. Louis after the 2015-16 season. Such a move requires at least a three quarters vote by the 32 league owners. None of that has deterred HKS or Hollywood Park Land Company—developers of the new 238-acre site which will integrate the stadium into its design—from moving forward.
The new renderings reveal several attractive design features:
· A huge, snail-shaped clear roof that can be used "to create the world's biggest billboard,” visible to 35 million travelers flying in and out of L.A. each year. Retractable roof design that allows the venue to adjust to accommodate events of all sizes when there is no sporting event going on.
· Built to accommodate two teams, the stadium will have two home locker rooms, identical sets of office space, and two owners' suites.
· Four-sided design allows the venue to be approached by the public from 360 degrees. There would be no fenced-off areas at ground level such as loading docks, mechanical yards, or dumpsters. These functions will be performed in underground areas.
· Built below ground level to comply with height restrictions imposed on buildings within the LAX flight path.
Noting the firm’s commitment to building the world’s most unique sports venue, Mark Williams, HKS sports and entertainment business director, said, “We are studying the (Southern California) region from the climate to the way people experience sports and entertainment and letting that drive the design.” Concepts guiding the design will include embedded objects, regional character, layering, and sustainability. “We don’t need to do a building that looks like every other stadium when we can take advantage of the best climate in the country.”
Designed for multiple purposes, not just for football games, the stadium can be used for a number of other events as well. “This will be the most successful stadium in the world,” Williams said. “Whether it’s a 12-year-old’s birthday party or the Super Bowl, this is something they will remember the rest of their lives.”
"So many stadiums are a big building that's out in a field somewhere," Hollywood Park Land Co. senior vice president Chris Meany said. "Very few have been integrated into the community."
The stadium is expected to be finished in 2018. Teams moving to L.A. before then will most likely play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.