The Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers are working together on a $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood to call their new home. For a year or so, they were expecting to move into the palace in 2019, but now won’t be able to move in until 2020.
The LA Times has reported that of all things to delay the opening of the stadium by a year, it wasn’t money, supplies, or permits. Instead, it was rain.
Yes, rain in Los Angeles has delayed the completion of the stadium by a year.
“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.”
The project broke ground in November shortly before Los Angeles, and California as a whole, was hit by record rainfall. This rain occurred during the “mass excavation phase” of construction when the construction crews basically dig a big dirt hole.
How big of a hole to be exact? Five million cubic yards of dirt. That resulted in water standing 12 to 15 feet deep and a standstill in construction for two months earlier in 2017.
The Rams, who were originally the only tenants in the new stadium before the Chargers moved north this offseason, released a statement about the delay.
Rams announce delay until 2020 for Inglewood stadium opening. Team will stay at Coliseum through 2019. pic.twitter.com/DKw3qGr3di
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) May 18, 2017
“If this had been a one-team facility, perhaps we could have made up work or at least petitioned the league to allow some of the games of the  season to be scheduled away from Inglewood,” Dale Koger, senior vice president and managing director for Legends Project Development, told the LA Times.
Kevin Demoff is the Rams’ Chief Operating Officer and said the time could be made up eventually, but for now, they want to focus on getting the stadium right and not about rushing to finish.
“There’s chance you could make up the time, but we felt it was better to make the decision now rather than approaching it in late 2018 or 2019, when we are well into the process of building the stadium,” Demoff said. “This is a stadium that Angelenos, visitors and world-class athletes will celebrate for years to come, and we are committed to making sure this amazing venue is exceptional from the day it opens.”
While the Rams and Chargers wait for the new stadium to open, they’ll continue to play at their temporary homes. The Rams will play at the Coliseum along with the USC football team through 2019, while the Chargers will share the StubHub Center with the LA Galaxy.
“Having been in the construction business, there’s always the risk of delay and that was factored into our decision making,” said A.G. Spanos, Chargers president of business operations
What also factored into the decision making is everything else that is being built AROUND the stadium. The two teams aren’t just building a new stadium. The site, which the LA Times points out will be “three and a half times the size of Disneyland,” also includes a 300-room hotel, retail and business offices, a 6,000-seat performance venue, residential space, and the 70,240-seat stadium.
“Mr. Kroenke really wanted to be sure we had everything complete and of the highest quality,” Koger said, “so this would be a really supreme experience.”
The Rams and Chargers have already launched a joint bid for the 2021 Super Bowl, but it’s unclear if this delay could push it back as that Super Bowl would occur at the tail end of the stadium’s inaugural season. Right now, NFL rules state a stadium can’t host the Super Bowl during its inaugural season.
But even if the Rams and Chargers have to wait an extra year or so for the Super Bowl, they’ll probably be just fine. It’s not like the NFL will never want a Super Bowl in a new stadium in the country’s second biggest TV market.