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Inglewood Approves Plans for Rams Stadium

The Inglewood City Council unanimously approved St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s prospective stadium at Hollywood Park on Tuesday.

The $1.86 billion, 80,000-seat, closed-roof structure, to be opened in 2018, would become the world’s most expensive stadium. Chris Meany, vice president of the Hollywood Park Land Company (HPLC), partners with the Kroenke Group, commented, “It’s just the next step, but it’s a very important step.”

After the council’s vote approving HPLC’s offer, Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts asserted, “It’s the one, best chance for the NFL to come back here,” according to the Orange County Register. Butts remained confident about bringing the Rams to Inglewood, despite rumblings of a move by the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers to build a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson. Butts shrugged off the competition, saying, “When you’re in a race and you’re ahead, you don’t look to the side and you certainly don’t look back.” Andrew Hogan, the founder of Bring Back the Rams, joyfully said at a meeting with roughly 50 other speakers, “Now we have an opportunity to bring our team back where it belongs.”

The proposed stadium’s owners could get a tax break; the city intends to put a glass ceiling on the existing ticket tax at $15 million per year if a stadium has over 22,000 seats. The building of the stadium has been estimated as capable of creating 23,522 construction jobs. Real estate firm Keyser Martson Associates believes the stadium could reap $325 million in annual revenue.

The plan to build a new stadium in Inglewood did not delight everyone. Inglewood resident Leroy Fisher told the Register, “A great number of people who say they want it here but they don’t have to put up with all the negatives that come with it. You’ve allowed people to come in here and cram this thing down our throat.
 You don’t have the right to decide for all citizens.”

Meanwhile, back in Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon tries to induce the Rams to stay. His stadium task force has plans for a roughly $1 billion, 64,000-seat downtown St. Louis stadium. The $1 billion cost would be funded from $460 million-$535 million derived from extending current bonds on the Edward Jones Dome plus tax credits. The NFL and the Rams would ante up the rest of the $400 million-$450 million funds needed.

In San Diego, Chargers owner Dean Spanos and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer have been holding meetings about keeping the Chargers from moving. Faulconer’s stadium task force promised to offer Spanos a report on location and financing options before the summer. In Oakland, time is running out for The Coliseum Authority, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Authority has only 30 days to reach a new stadium deal with the Raiders.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Alameda County officials disapprove of public subsidies for a new stadium, as Alameda County taxpayers still owe millions for renovations to O.co Coliseum.

Any decision by the NFL regarding teams moving to Los Angeles will be made later in 2015.

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