Stadium play indicates NFL's Rams may return to Los Angeles

Mon Jan 5, 2015 7:53pm EST
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The billionaire owner of the St. Louis Rams unveiled plans on Monday to build a stadium in Los Angeles that could house his team in three years, even though the NFL has delayed allowing any team to relocate to the nation's second-largest market.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke would partner with Stockbridge Capital Group to construct an 80,000-seat stadium in suburban Inglewood as part of a larger entertainment, commercial and residential development at the defunct Hollywood Park horse track.

The plan is the latest of more than a dozen stadium proposals to have emerged since the National Football League abandoned Los Angeles in 1994. The Rams had played in the Los Angeles area since 1946 before moving to St. Louis.

Kroenke's plan, first reported by the Los Angeles Times, marks the first time an existing team owner has controlled a local site large enough for a stadium and parking.

"This is probably the best place for a large sports venue," said Christopher Meany, senior vice president of the joint venture, Hollywood Park Land Co.

The proposed 238-acre (96-hectare) site lies near the Los Angeles International Airport and at the junction of major highways. No financial details were released.

The plan also could help revive Inglewood, which has nearly a quarter of residents below the poverty line, as an entertainment hub after the NBA's Lakers and NHL's Kings left the nearby Forum arena more than a decade ago.

The planned covered stadium could host other sports, including soccer and basketball, Meany said.   Continued...

Hollywood Park Senior Vice President Chris Meany (L) and project manager Gerard McCallum display plans for development at the site of the former Hollywood Park Race Track at a news conference in Inglewood, Los Angeles, , January 5, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson