Happy New Year! Stan Kroenke and Inglewood have an LA stadium plan

Update 10:50 AM: The NFL released a statement that doesn’t actually address Kroenke or Hollywood Park, at least not until 2016. From league spokesman Brian McCarthy:

“No team has applied for relocation and there will be no team relocations for the 2015 season. We are committed to working towards having franchises that are strong and successful in their existing markets. Any decision on relocation in 2016 or later is subject to approval by the 32 clubs.  An affirmative vote by 24 of 32 clubs (three-fourths) is required.”

Overhead of plan:

New Hollywood Park plan with football stadium

New Hollywood Park plan with football stadium

The LA Times’ Sam Farmer and Roger Vincent have a bombshell to start your week: Rams owner Stan Kroenke is partnering with the capital and master developer behind Hollywood Park to add an 80,000-seat football stadium to the current plans.

Artist rendering of Inglewood’s City of Champions project, with NFL stadium in background

SF-based Wilson Meany is the development partner (think of JRDV for Coliseum City), with plans already in the works. Adding Kroenke’s recently acquired 60 acres to the adjacent 238 acres brings to total development to nearly 300 acres, a massive complex of easily redevelopable land, 50% more than the refocused vision in Oakland. Wilson Meany already has experience redeveloping a race track, having redone Bay Meadows in phases going back a decade. Bay Meadows is a much smaller site than Hollywood Park at 83.5 acres.

Stockbridge Capital, also based in SF, is a large real estate investment that often sinks its teeth into large projects. Stockbridge bankrolled Bay Meadows, hotels in Las Vegas, and more staid assets like office parks throughout the country. It’s a bit ironic that two SF companies are partnering on Hollywood Park, whereas a consortium of mostly SoCal interests are behind Coliseum City.

Kroenke's land is between the Forum (upper left corner) and the large race track.

Kroenke’s land is between the Forum (upper left corner) and the large race track. Note plane flying overhead.

Anyone who reads this site is well aware of the Rams’ current situation in St. Louis. The football team beat the operator of the Edward Jones Dome (a public authority), which entitles the Rams to $700 million in improvements – or a completely new stadium if renovation doesn’t make sense. This was thanks to perhaps the most team-friendly lease in pro sports. A package of renovations was not approved by the City, putting the Rams into a year-to-year lease with no penalty for leaving. As the rumor mill of teams escaping to LA heated up, St. Louis civic and business interests including a former Anheuser-Busch exec put together preliminary plans for a stadium near the Gateway Arch along the Mississippi River. Financing is unclear, with another decade of debt still remaining on the existing Dome in addition to new stadium debt (sound familiar?). Chances are that the State of Missouri will have to be involved in the same manner they’re involved currently, to the tune of a $12 million annual subsidy. St. Louis, meet Oakland. Create a support group.

Teams still won’t apply to move for 2015, as Roger Goodell is pulling the strings here. Instead, this move and maybe another by AEG down the road will ratchet up pressure on St. Louis, Oakland, and San Diego to deliver stadium deals in short order. Inglewood intends to put full Hollywood Park plan before voters this November. Having rejected the Chargers’ desire for a downtown stadium near the convention center and Petco Park, San Diego has a tall order to come up with a satisfactory plan for all parties before the calendar turns to 2016. It’ll be interesting to see how Rams ticket sales are affected by this announcement, since it’s Kroenke, not some third party, doing it.

The Raiders’ lease at the Coliseum has already expired, and the team has given indications that it wants a new short-term deal. Mark Davis prefers a repeat of the previous lease, a 1-year deal that forgoes previously-desired stadium revenue streams in favor of maximum flexibility. Knowing that and the ticking clock, will Oakland put up much of a fight as it did in last summer’s drawn out negotiations with the A’s? It seems unlikely. Oakland has precious little leverage at the moment, especially as it tries to work on plans with both the Raiders and A’s, football team in the driver’s seat.

With the Inglewood announcement, the NFL’s grand plan comes into clearer view. The league has been very hands-off with the teams and cities over the last 1-2 years, allowing their respective political processes to play out. Rules required teams to make good-faith efforts towards new stadia in incumbent markets, all done in various ways for all three teams. St. Louis dared the Rams to go to arbitration and lost badly. San Diego let its convention center’s interest override the Chargers and lost the script on a football stadium. The Raiders stayed involved to a minimal degree with Coliseum City as that project flailed repeatedly. Now the NFL, through its relocation team, can start to hammer cities with demands. If those demands aren’t met, well, hopefully those respective mayors have made the proper political calculations as to what football stadium subsidies mean to their tenures.

2016 has started off with a bang. Meanwhile, Lew Wolff sits back and waits.

P.S. – BTW, if you haven’t kept up on Bay Meadows, it’s not nearly finished. Development was kept on a slow track thanks to the recession and a desire for controlled growth. Phase II is underway.

57 thoughts on “Happy New Year! Stan Kroenke and Inglewood have an LA stadium plan

  1. …and waits; for San Jose! ;). Nice LA plan BTW…

  2. Is the LA window closing for the Raiders?

  3. Jed York can’t lose here. At the least he saves on jet fuel. On the high end he inherits the east bay. Damn, those Yorks inherit everything.

  4. Move the Raiders to either Pier 80 or the former Power plant at the end of 23rd street. The 49ers have abandoned SF. SF could use a roofed stadium to round out it’s stadium and event and convention hosting inventory. Once the Cal-Train is electrified perhaps trains from the Peninsula and perhaps even the VTA to connect onto Muni’s third street line to provide public transit.

    That’s WAY outside the box I know but the Raiders options are thinning

  5. I always believed that the Rams were the hands down frontrunners to be the first team to move back to LA. I based this on the fact that the Rams were the only team that seemed to have the means to get a new LA football stadium deal done. That said, it appears that either the Raiders or Chargers could likely be later date strong contenders for being the second LA team. While both the Raiders and Chargers would undoubtedly gain much more leverage in their future new stadium negotiations with Oakland and San Diego respectively, and would give each of their respective cities at least a few years more time to get new stadium deals done. It appears that the wheels for getting things done are starting to fall into place, and that could also include the A’s, as well.

  6. I have been saying only Stan Kroenke (Rams) has the site control to make LA happen between the Rams, Chargers and Raiders.But Kroenke is a native Missourian who went to HS, College, and Grad School in the state.

    He would be pulling a “George Shinn” and abandoning his roots moving the team as Shinn did with the Hornets from Charlotte to New Orleans.

    I for one believe if St. Louis/Missouri come back to him with a publicly subsidized plan……How can he say no? He would be banned in his home state for life and I doubt the NFL could say no either based on their new rules on relocation.

    Now the we all will see how the cards fall from here. San Diego is going get hurt by this big time and needs to jump in with Kroenke while the getting is good and cheap. Don’t be like dumbass Mark Davis and believe it won’t get done without a 2nd team….cause it will and can.

    The Chargers cannot afford a team moving into LA much less 2 teams with them getting pigeon holed in SD while losing all their LA/OC revenue streams.

    This is a savvy but shrewd business move by Kroenke. This will get Missouri/St. Louis off their asses or they will lose their 2nd NFL team as they did years ago with the now Arizona Cardinals.

    If for one am not surprised as Kroenke was always always the only one who could make it happen in LA.

    I wonder if the NFL is working behind the scenes with him? Interesting….

    • Kroenke is not a St Louis native per se though – his hometown is 190 miles from St Louis. That would be comparable to an LA billionaire owning the giants, and attempting to move the giants out of state – would an LA native care about what SF thinks and be loyal to SF fans? – likely not.

      The NFL’s bizzare plan was/is to build a two team facility (funded 100% by the NFL) in Los Angeles – and lease it out to two NFL teams (which would be anti Kroenke – since he wants total control over the franchise, including owning the stadium – and would have no interested in leasing a stadium)

  7. As for the A’s, nothing changes long run in Oakland at the Coli site because I for one believe the NFL will allow the Chargers to move in with the Rams first over the Raiders since Levi’s Stadium sits 35 miles away from Oakland.

    Raiders will either rot in Oakland, build at the Coli or move in with the 49ers..

  8. Wouldn’t it be funny if, somehow, the Raiders ended up in St. Louis? Won’t happen in a million years, I know, but IF it happened, it would be highly amusing, no?

  9. So what’s changed since the Raiders moved to LA that has made the league input on relocation matter? If he wants to move to LA all he has to do is do it—courts have shown in the past they wont stop this—so maybe he doesn’t get a $200M of stadium money but that may not matter to him at this time–

  10. The raiders are boxed in. I can’t see why Kroenke would let the raiders move in with them.

  11. It really sounds like Kroenke is full speed ahead on this and it’s not a ploy to pressure Missouri to give him a free stadium, which probably won’t happen anyway. Kroenke will now be subjected to arguments on “How come he’ll build with his own money in LA but not in Saint Louis!” But of course, the Rams in LA are worth far more than the Rams in Saint Louis. Having to build with his own money in Saint Louis would only widen the gap.

    re: no team relocations for next season. NFL is helping out Oakland here. Oakland can continue to do nothing about a new stadium and keep the team, baseball infield and all, for at least another year. Does anyone expect the $600 million gap in Oakland to suddenly be filled in a year? Didn’t think so.

  12. Just a little clarification ML, San Diego hasn’t rejected the Chargers stadium idea. It was never officially proposed in any way. Just presented as an option. And that was before the city’s stand alone convention center expansion was killed by the courts. The city still needs a convention center expansion, and the Chargers may have that only option now. Big issue in SD is can they get it together, officially proposed, and on the ballot, on time.

  13. I could see this scenario happening.. Ram’s break their lease and start moving their team to LA after 2/3 of the owners force the Commish to allow the Rams to relocate before the 2015 season starts. There is still time for a backdoor deal to get finished before the Super Bowl. The shield is not going to want to a team to play a season as a lame duck team unless you are the Raiders looking for that mythical free stadium being built on someone else’s dime.

    If the Raiders can’t get a deal done in Oakland or in the Bay Area this year I could see them moving to STL, SA, or London after the 2016 season. Wherever the Raiders wind up playing you can expect the host city to force a TB Ray type lease to prevent that city from being used as a potential relocation site for the next team that gets itchy feet.

    • London is never going to happen. That’s such a D.O.A. idea. Americans care more about soccer than Brits care about football. That says a lot.

      • I think most of us thought that LA would never happen again ,and yet we are starting to see a plan on building a stadium without taxpayers support.

      • LA and London aren’t even remotely comparable in the context of the NFL.

      • @ Mike 2
        LA is a different animal then London; the union would never agree to allow a portion of it players to have to do that much travel, while others did not. An owner, would also fill it was a disadvantage to his team.
        BTW: I was not one of those people that thought LA would never happen.

      • Mike, actually most people are surprised it took the league this long to get back into LA. Going back was always a foregone conclusion the first few years after the Raiders and Rams left. London is a pipe dream.

    • Absolutely nothing is happening in LA for 2015. Good bet on 2016 if this keeps up. But not for next season.

      • My understanding is that if Kroenke doesn’t take any NFL money for the stadium, he can move the team whenever he wants and there’s not a damn thing the league can do about it.

  14. I really don’t get this idea that an NFL team will be located in London, perhaps in 2065 when people are riding in space crafts that take them from one continent to another in two hours.
    The most we will see is 8-12 games; perhaps a few more on rotational bases in London before teams have a bye week. Think Thursday night’s games, where each team is supposed to play one game.
    If an NFL team was located there for all their home games, they would have to go on 4 game road trips to the states; it would be too much of a disadvantage (travel), for a home located there.

    • And that’s to say nothing of currency and tax issues.

      • Having been to London a few times, I can say there is definitely a lot of interest in the NFL. It’s not rabid fandom, but I can think of two business dinners/lunches that I have attended there where I wasn’t asked about my favorite NFL team and players.
        I wouldn’t say that it is remotely close to happening, but it’s not because of a lack of a potential fan base.

  15. So the Raiders are continuing discussions with San Antonio and the Rams are making their play for LA. If these moves do somehow happen for 2015 it will definitely put the league in the catbird seat regarding San Diego. They’ll be able to put a ton of pressure on SD for the 2016 vote while not having to rush the Chargers out of town with the threat of the Raiders moving in as team 2 eliminated.

    Though that may already be the case since the Raiders may be boxed out of LA by the NFL anyway. Also the Chargers, like the Raiders, were never going to be the first team into LA not having the resources to build in LA themselves and unlike the Raiders the Bolts also aren’t interested in selling part of the team. Which means the Chargers needed someone to beat them to LA before they’d even consider moving there. And logistically for them it doesn’t matter, even if the Chargers had been first they were always going to be the Clippers/Ducks/Angels to either the Raiders or Rams Lakers/Kings/Dodgers being that the other two teams were the long time LA teams. The Chargers have no real ties to LA other than the 6 months they were there back in the AFL days which no one really remembers.

  16. Have to wonder how much back-room arm-twisting is being done to “coax” the Raiders to go to Levi’s. “You are not going to get a new stadium in Oakland, you do not have the means to get it done in LA like the Rams do, and San Antonio is not a viable market and the Cowboys won’t let you go there anyway. This leaves you one option: A brand new stadium you can use in your current market near your current fan base.”

    • Pjk, Not sure the Cowboys get a say in whether the Raiders move to San Antonio or not just as the NFL doesn’t get a say in if the Rams move to LA. Antitrust issues limit the NFL in ways MLB still doesn’t have to deal with as long as no NFL funds are being used for the stadiums. And thus far it doesn’t look like the league will necessarily be involved in either deal.

  17. For what it’s worth, the Raiders are accepting season ticket renewal payments for next year. They had waited longer than they ever had, but are now doing it.

    • Still doesn’t mean much. Teams typically do this right up until they make an announcement of a move/folding/etc… Chivas USA of MLS was taking season ticket deposits at their last game even though the FO knew they were shutting the team down the next morning.

  18. Davis knows if he wants the NFL to help him build, then he will be subject to what they want. The only way around that is to have enough money to do it yourself (see Rams owner), or to get a municipality to fork over a ransom to do it for you. We already know Oakland has bent over for the Raiders and is still on the hook for Mt. Davis, regardless of where the Raiders play and it’s not as if Oakland has money laying around that it could use on such a project, if it wanted to.
    This is where San Antonio becomes interesting. Is it a better market then a second NFL team in the Bay Area? Of course not, but since the NFL has a true revenue sharing system, unlike some sports leagues we know… Um MLB, then what kind of market it is doesn’t matter as much, and as far as the influence of the Cowboys or Texans, that’s reduced by the fact that the NFL has no antitrust agreement that could be in japery, like MLB couple that with the real possibly that San Antonio may be willing to pay that ransom, then what could other teams do?
    Davis doesn’t care about market size, or what other teams want. He only cares about whom and how, he can get someone to pay for it.

  19. One thing I am sure of, is that Davis is the opposite of a go getter. Maybe a do-nothinger. That’s why LA is perfect for him. He can piggy back on someone doing all the work. That’s why Oak goes nowhere. He has to do work in Oak. In LA he probably doesn’t have to output any money upfront. He can pay rent with yearly revenue. While Levis is the same scenario, he would be the tenant of a rival. In LA, he may be the fan favorite franchise. I believe he’s always wanted LA as long as he could piggyback. Well, here’s his opportunity. Maybe the league not providing money in Oak and LA gets more money to San Diego.

    • The NFL wants to be in LA and Kroenke is prepared to make it happen, albeit in a fashion that has sports leagues shaking with fear (private financing). I just don’t see Kroenke sharing any stadium he builds in LA. What’s in it for him to let the Raiders, who were probably more popular in LA in the short time they were there than the Rams, piggyback onto his new stadium? Kroenke will want the market all to himself, I’d bet, and who can blame him?

      • One thing though, the NFL always planned on building privately in LA. Kroenke is doing it himself but by the same basic mechanism. Public money was and remains off the table regardless of which stadium plan we’re talking about in LA. The NFL just isn’t very involved (if at all) in Kroenke’s.

      • You hit the nail on the head.

  20. The reason why Mark Davis did not join the 49ers in Santa Clara is because he did not want to share.

    Davis, wants a stadium all to himself with Raiders branding all over. Going to LA and sharing with the Rams 100% defeats this purpose.

    Plus, the Rose Bowl and LA Coliseum have already said publicly the Raiders would not be allowed to play temporarily at either facility because of their LA fan base who ruined the image of the team. (NWA anyone?)

    The NFL told Davis to share with the 49ers and he screwed up so he is stuck in Oakland in a decaying stadium. The NFL has no sympathy for the Raiders but have major sympathy for the Rams and Chargers.

    The NFL never wanted the Rams to move to St. Louis in the first place. But Georgia Frontiere in 1995 threatened an anti-trust lawsuit citing Al Davis years before winning easily.

    The NFL knew full well then St. Louis was not a good NFL market and that has not changed.

    As for the Chargers, this it for them and their stay in San Diego. Moving north to Inglewood they wouldn’t lose too much in fan support as right now they get media priority in LA/OC to show games.

    There are a ton of Chargers fans in the LA/OC and people from SD can make the trip up on Sunday’s from a far smaller market.

    The Chargers cannot afford to not have media priority and lose their corporate support with an LA team.

    It will be the LA Rams and LA Chargers.

    While the Raiders will continue to sit on top of the A’s in a move of sheer stupidity with a brand new stadium with a locker room with their names on it.

    They could easily pay 25M-50M to re-brand Levi’s for themselves. I am sure the 49ers nor the NFL would mind.

    But this is Mark Davis……..the moron spoiled rich kid of all time.

    • Sid, you and pjk have this figured out…if the deal is real.
      Call me a skeptic, but until the dozers show up…sounds like it’s up to St. Louis.

  21. At this point, the only option available and acceptable to Mark Davis, at least for the short-term, is to remain at the Coliseum with the A’s. This unfortunate stadium sharing arrangement will likely continue, especially given that all the forces that could possibly get to a reasonable endgame would much rather prefer the status quo.

  22. Rams to L.A. in 2016 (maybe even 2015) this looks definite.

  23. Damn, some dude draws a stadium on the back of a napkin, you all wack off. Call me slow, but I’m starting to see the pattern. Drip drip drip. You ever been to the the Forum or Hollywood Park? You know the neighborhood? If not, no worries, God gave you an ass so you can speak out of it.

    • Speaking of talking out of one’s rear…BTW, could the neighborhood around Hollywood Park be any worse to the Coliseum Hood?

    • When is the last time an LA stadium plan has been backed by a current NFL owner since the league left after 1994? Oh right, this is the first time.

    • Okay: you are slow.

    • @freddy – “Some dude” is Stan Kroenke. This plan has a billionaire team owner behind it as well as the Hollywood Park developer and City government. In about half the time, they’ve managed to surpass Coliseum City on several key metrics. As for the “you know the neighborhood” question, you may want to pose that question to backers of Coliseum City. Same dynamics.

      • A billionaire owner richer than Jerry Jones no less. I think only Paul Allen is richer than Kroenke, but by a HUGE margin.

    • Wrong – anyone worth $13 bil. (self made also) is certainly not stupid. If Kroenke believes Hollywood Park is a safe location – it likely is.

  24. There’s BIg $$ in LA waiting to get a stadium done. Not the case n Oakland.

  25. I wonder if the Raiders could end up in St Louis? Why? If the Rams move to Inglewood, that opens up the Edward Jones Dome. We know Davis needs NFL money, and does not want to share a Stadium (see Santa Clara). We also know Jerry Jones does not want the Raiders in San Antonio. Maybe that $200m in NFL money could be used at the Dome, in exchange for Davis keeping out of LA and SA? Then it would simply be about the Chargers (remain in San Diego or move to LA?),

  26. ML, who is talking crap about Hohokam? It’s the first stadium the A’s can really call their own since 1995. Phoenix was never heavy on being an A’s venue and God knows the Coliseum sure isn’t.

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