Kroenke releases new Inglewood stadium renderings on eve of NFL owners meetings

The jockeying for position in the race for LA continues. Oakland approved its ENA extension on Friday, paving the way for Alameda County doing the same on Tuesday. I’ll have more on that following the Tuesday meeting. The Carson stadium project has gotten enough signatures for a public vote later this year (or more likely a City Council action bypassing a vote). Rams owner Stan Kroenke has new renderings of his proposed stadium at the old Hollywood Park in Inglewood. All of this is in advance of the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix this week. All of the players want to give the impression that they have the most advanced, stable plan. All of them, except perhaps Mark Davis, who continues to prefer riding on the coattails of others’ plans (Carson, Coliseum City). Both Dean Spanos and Kroenke are making the case for having their own stadia, privately financed, with no need to house a second team – but the capacity to do so if the opportunity arises. This saga will continue to unfold over the coming months, with everything coming to a head after the Super Bowl 50 when the relocation window opens. Unlike 2014, these stadium plans are becoming more concrete with each passing week, thanks to political actions by Inglewood and Carson.

Previous renderings of the City of Champions development showed zoomed out, distant images of the stadium. Now we’re getting closeups of the exterior and interior. The design is groundbreaking and familiar, all at once. Undertaken by HKS, the architectural firm that penned the more showy NFL stadia of recent years (Cowboys Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, the upcoming Vikings’ stadium), the stadium is is covered by a transparent roof canopy, with open sides to allow for air to circulate from outside.

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Like (half of) the fixed, transparent roof at the Vikings’ football cathedral, Kroenke’s roof will be covered in a fabric called ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene). It’s extremely thin while having excellent light transmissive and insulation properties. Most importantly, it’s very light for a roof material, weighing around 3 ounces per square foot depending on the number of layers used. The lightness of ETFE allows the roof structural work supporting it to be lighter and less complex compared to steel roof structures, and more reliable than the previous generations of fabric roof technology that used Teflon or fiberglass-embedded fabric. ETFE was first used in high-profile sports applications such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where it was employed at the Birds Nest national stadium and the Aquatics venue. Instead of being part and parcel with the stadium, the roof will extended over a public plaza, acting like one gigantic canopy. While Southern California never needs a roof for football, the canopy will allow the stadium to be used for numerous big indoor events, such as the Final Four.

Baseball in the Vikings' stadium? Yes! Golden Gophers, baby.

Baseball in the Vikings’ stadium? Yes! Golden Gophers, during the early spring of the college baseball season.

Google’s proposed campus in Mountain View is also likely to use ETFE as a canopy over constantly evolving workspaces.


Google’s buildings will be surrounded by transparent roof canopies, with fresh air allowed to circulate from open areas.

Technology has come a long way since the first domed stadia were built. The Astrodome, which used skylights for the roof, was fatally flawed as not enough light came through to grow grass indoors successfully. That led to the invention of Astroturf, which had the even more appealing original name of ChemGrass (should’ve stuck with it, Monsanto). Numerous other domes became the unfortunate going trend in many cities in northern climates. Most had an air-supported roof, such as the Hubert Horatio Humphrey Metrodome, Pontiac Silverdome, BC Place, and the Hoosier (later RCA) Dome. After a number of deflations and weather-related incidents, air-supported roofs gave way to more reliable technology. Some of the newer domes in the late 80’s and 90’s used fabric roofs but weren’t air supported, using compression rings or cable supports to hold the roof up (ex.: Alamodome, Georgia Dome, Tropicana Field). Few air-supported structures remain in use, most notably the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. Many of those will give way to replacement venues if not replacement roofs.


The always aesthetically pleasing ceiling at the Trop


That gets me thinking about St. Petersburg. Yes, the location of the Trop is terrible for the other Bay Area trying to get to a Rays game, but what if the dome roof were replaced by ETFE? Would that help the aesthetic there? At least fans would be able to see the sky instead a dull roof, and maybe the use of a lighter material would allow the roof to be re-engineered so that one or two of those compression rings could go away. Too practical to be a solution, right?

39 thoughts on “Kroenke releases new Inglewood stadium renderings on eve of NFL owners meetings

  1. My concern with anything built in Florida is the weather. Would that ETFE hold up in a hurricane?

  2. Remember that Santa Clara’s since-replaced Toso Pavillion was also air-supported. Most entrances/exits had the insulated revolving doors, but when you went out the traditional doors it was like a 40mph wind!

    • I definitely remember getting literally sucked out of the building when Santa Clara had the bubble roof and Steve Nash was playing there.

    • Yep, Toso lasted 25 years before it was replaced by the Leavey Center. I still remember going to see Steve Nash play there, and a Violent Femmes concert in the early 90’s. Nowadays you can barely find pictures of Toso.

  3. Difference between Kroenke and Alameda County/Raiders/Oakland: Kroenke has money

    • FFS man stop being so repetitive.

    • Kephart has said that money is not the issue and the Raiders have pledged $400 million towards a new stadium. So what are you talking about pjk?

      BTW, the Kroenke stadium kind of resembles a football version of Marlins Park. Nice clean design though…congrats LA Rams!

      • Everyone pushing CC has at some point claimed the money was not an issue/was in place. And look where that got us… nowhere. Until they show us the money, it might as well not exist.

      • Whatever you say SMG…whatever you say. (and please stop swearing; really not necessary to make a point here)

      • I’ll let you know when I care what advice you have to offer. In the mean time, seek therapy for your willful delusions.

  4. It really fills like Kroenke is not bluffing. Anything short of St Louis/ Missouri paying for a new stadium (public funds), and Rams are probably back to LA.

    • St Louis doesn’t give a fuck about football. They should just let the team go.

      • i believe the latest stadium proposal in Saint Louis presumes a public-private partnership and does not approach the $700 million in public funds the Rams apparently are entitled to in their lease. That’s why they can opt out in Saint Louis – they have to either have a topnotch stadium or else the public pays for $700 million worth of upgrades. They don’t have a topnotch stadium. And the public does not want to pay that kind of money. Sounds like one of these “Let the rich owners pay for their own stadium!” stances even though the Rams were lured to Saint Louis with the promise of public funds for their stadium. Someone correct me if any of this is not accurate.

  5. I guess you’ve got to have you’re contingency plans, on way or the other.

  6. I love the quote, that the NFL “isn’t quite happy that the city of Oakland has an ENA with Floyd Kephart”(real estate developer) Apparently they fill the city should be dealing directory with the team. That’ one of the funniest thing’s I have ever heard, concerning the fact that the Raiders (Davis), are probably the poorest team in the league and would need some sort of help, or middle man no matter where they built.

  7. The reality is the question of “IF” there will be a Stadium (and Team (s)) in LA, no longer exists, and the Date will likely be in 2016. The big question is who? I suspect the Rams and whoever (between the Raiders and Chargers) does not get a Stadium agreement first. One thing is a given: The Raiders are NOT moving to San Antonio. Why? They could have moved in 2015 if they wanted to. The team to watch next is the Chargers (I suspect they will be the Team heading for LA (the fact Phillip Rivers is not going to consider resigning until after the 2016 Season because of that possibility is telling)). The big question is what happens to the Raiders? Do they get something done in Oakland or move to the Edward Jones Dome? If you couple this with the Proposed Obama Tax Plan on Sports Stadium Construction, the longer this drags out, the more likely it becomes, that the Raiders follow the Warriors straight out of Town.

    • Not sure how the EJD is a whole lot better than the Coliseum, with its warehouse ambience and StL’s long history of indifference towards the football Cards and Rams.

  8. There are two key differences between Kroenke and Spanos/Davis.

    1. Kroenke has a roof which allows for other events such as the Final Four

    2. Kroenke has a built in development piece already scoped out around the stadium, unlike most stadiums being built first and then having ancillary development grow around it (ATT Park and Petco Park as examples), Kroenke brilliantly partnered with the current developer.

    PJK is right, unless St. Louis/Missouri comes with a 700M public subsidy the Rams will be back in LA come 2020 or 2021, could be 2019 with some luck.

    The money is on the Chargers being the 2nd team, only because they currently own the LA TV market and have the most to lose from the Rams returning, too much of their sponsorship/suite sales come from LA/OC.

    The Chargers cannot partially privately fund a stadium in SD with a team popping up in LA. They are already very small market, they need LA to remain open so they can provide their privately financed piece from their end for a SD stadium.

    Because of this the Chargers are good as gone to LA, people in SD just don’t know it…..They need to start praying for a Missouri miracle.

    The Raiders in reality are not affected since they play in the Bay Area.

    They are not affected with LA being no longer vacant from a monetary/TV standpoint. Not like the Raiders attract LA corporations and sponsorships playing in Oakland.

    Do they get “some fans from LA”? Yes, they do but its negligible compared to what the Chargers get from the same area.

    Raiders look stuck to me in Oakland for an indefinite amount of time. The NFL has to protect the Chargers over the Raiders because of the reasons above.

    Mark Davis is just to stupid to realize he and Oakland only have each other unless he wants to go to Santa Clara.

  9. The NFL would ideally want for two teams to be in Northern California and two teams in Southern California. If by any chance the Chargers do get their new stadium built in San Diego, I seriously doubt that the NFL would allow two teams in LA. As for the Raiders, I believe that they will likely have to choose between playing in a scaled down new or renovated Coliseum or having to share Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers.

    • @IIpec

      I agree, it’s really starting look that way. The Charges have the most to lose if a team moves to LA, it probably won’t be two if they stay in San Diego. (NFL may not want three teams in Southern California) Kroenke seems hell bent on making something happen in LA, and the NFL probably will only allow a second team by expansion a few years down the road, again if the Charges stay in San Diego. Oakland may be the most difficult place to get a stadium built (L.A., S.D., Stl., Oak), but it may be what Davis is stuck with in the end, of course unless they play with the 49ers.
      Oakland and the Raiders stuck with one another, talk about poetic justice.

  10. There are 22 million people in Southern California; it can easily support three NFL teams. Saying otherwise is like saying Philly can’t support an NFL team because there are two teams in North Jersey. Whether or not San Diego retains the Chargers will have little or no affect on how many teams ultimately end up in LA.

    • Completely agree.

    • @bartleby

      I didn’t say it couldn’t support three NFL teams. I said the NFL may not want three teams in Southern California. Based on recent quotes, I would say there is a good chance that may be the case.
      That’s not like saying Philadelphia can’t support a team, because I didn’t say LA, or Southern California couldn’t support three teams.

      @ MSG
      Nice to see you completely agree, with someone who either didn’t understand what I said, or didn’t read all of what I said. Given the argumentative nature we all can have at times, it’s not a surprise.

      • @Neil,

        First of all, you weren’t the only one saying the NFL wanted only two teams in Southern California, so it’s a little narcissistic to assume my comments were directed specifically to you.

        Second of all, I’m not an imbecile, I both read and understood what you wrote. I just happen to think you’re wrong about this. Given that Southern California can easily support three NFL teams, why the hell wouldn’t the NFL want it to do so? 1/3 of the SoCal market is still a top 10 NFL market by any reasonable measure. I’ve seen no quotes or anything else out of the NFL suggesting it feels otherwise.

      • @bartleby

        I apologize, I thought you were responding to what I specifically said. I don’t think a person has to be narcissistic in the less bit to make that assumption, after all you did say you disagree with me. I don’t think you’re an imbalance (actually I think you’re vary intelligent), although I’m still trying to figure out what you disagree with me about? I never said I thought Southern California couldn’t support three NFL teams. I have seen quotes that the NFL may not want three teams in Southern California, I have no idea if they are true, and simply because you haven seen them doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. Again, I apologize emotions can get close to the surface when debating such things, and I always appreciate your contribution.

      • @ bartleby
        Sorry meant to say “‘imbecile”, What kind of imbecile uses imbecile and has it as misspellings? I guess this one.

      • @Neil No worries, I enjoy and respect your contributions as well. That comment just rubbed me the wrong way.

        I guess I disagree both with the idea that SoCal can’t support three teams as well as the idea that the NFL doesn’t want three teams there. Because I see no common sense reason why the NFL wouldn’t want three teams in SoCal (unless it felt they wouldn’t be supported) and haven’t seen any quotes suggesting anything of the sort, it didn’t seem important to me to draw fine distinctions between the two ideas. What quotes have you seen that suggest otherwise?

      • @bartleby

        Thanks, I wish I could tell you exactly who came up with the idea, or theory that the NFL may not want more then three teams in Southern California (at the moment), mostly tweets from talking heads, more then likely with an agenda in one direction or another (my guess), during what was a busy weekend for the NFL concerning relocation.
        BTW I do agree with you, I believe Southern California is more then capable of supporting three teams.

  11. The raiders are really in the worst position, because I could totally see them being left out in the cold if they don’t play their cards right. The problem is, they don’t have any cards to play. They have to piggy back on somebody. The worst possible outcome is the raiders left in Oak with no stadium on the horizon. This is why the NFL has a problem. If St Louis doesn’t fund a stadium, they are going to LA. Which, in turn means the NFL better hope the raiders find a way in Oakland. Otherwise you have the raiders and charges in no man’s land jockeying for LA. It will be interesting if the rams force their way to LA, and both sandiego and Oakland don’t work out deals. Then the NFL is really screwed. A’s and raiders in Oakland for 10 more years will be hilarious.

    • a’s and raiders for 10 more years at the coliseum is truly a nightmare scenario.

    • From my perspective, A’s and Raiders in Oakland at the Coliseum for 10 more years is a lot better than the Raiders in San Antonio or St. Louis, but unfortunately a lot less likely.

  12. o/t here but seems as the niners org asked other nfl teams that play in hot/humid weather trying to find their solutions for the weather issue for their fans. niners seem to know that was a huge issue and are now trying to find way to help those on the “hot” east side of levi’s stadium with some improvements and ideas that will take place this upcoming season. they include.

    -the 2 preseason games the niners will host in aug will be held at night.

    -units whatever that means that will dispense cool air out in the corridors.

    -misters nearby in the plazas.

    -giving fans real hand “fans” that double as misters.

    you would’ve thought the niners would’ve planned for something like this leading up to the opening of the stadium. everybody with half a brain knew the weather in terms of the temperature difference was going to be quite dramatic as it’s going to be hotter down in santa clara when compared to how it was at candlestick.

    hopefully they continue to make the venue more niner centric, still can’t believe there was no “ring of honor’ around the stadium.

    heck i’ve seen some who’ve said the venue which is being prepared for wrestlemania later this weekend with all the huge banners of their famous wrestlers plastered all over that the wwe is making the stadium look more like a wwe centric venue than the niners did during their inaugural season at levi’s stadium.

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