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Record-setting rainfall in Los Angeles forced the Rams and Chargers to push back the opening date for their Hollywood Park stadium project to 2020, one year later than originally planned, the teams announced Thursday.
“This new target gives us flexibility to accommodate any additional delays that may arise while still delivering an unparalleled experience upon opening,” the Rams said in a statement posted to their website. “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 venue is exceptional from the day it opens.”
While stadium crews worked on the mass excavation of the project excess rainfall settled at the bottom of the site and slowed down the $2.6 billion, 70,000-seat project.
That means that the Rams will exercise an option in their lease and play the 2019 season in the L.A. Coliseum, while the Chargers will continue on for another year at the 27,000-seat StubHub Center in Carson, where Major League Soccer’s L.A. Galaxy play.
“Our focus is always on the fan experience,” A.G. Spanos, Chargers president of Business Operations said in a statement posted on the team’s website. “Our future home will be the best stadium in the NFL and deliver a transformational experience for Chargers fans. If getting it right means pushing back the completion date, then I think the extra year is well worth it.
“Construction is our family business, so we understand the challenges that come with a project of this magnitude. At StubHub Center we are creating an unparalleled environment for watching NFL football, and considering that no other venue in the league brings you closer to the action, we think Chargers fans will enjoy our three years in Carson.”
It also means that the Rams likely would have to request a waiver for the stadium to remain the host for Super Bowl LV, as the current guidelines state that a new stadium cannot host the game in its first season of operation. The application could come as early as next week during the league’s spring meeting in Chicago.
The New York Jets and Giants previously received a somewhat similar waiver, allowing them to circumnavigate cold-weather rules and host Super Bowl XLVIII.
Follow Lorenzo Reyes on Twitter @LorenzoGReyes.
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