The Los Angeles Rams broke ground Thursday morning on the team's $2.6 billion Inglewood stadium project.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Inglewood Mayor James Butts were among the people who attended the 11 a.m. ceremony at the site of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack. The group formally broke ground on the stadium, which is expected to be open in time for the 2019 season. Work to clear the site officially began about two years ago.
"We spent so much time in this market, knowing how great the fans were, how successful the franchise would be, but we had to get it right," Goodell said the efforts to return an NFL franchise to Los Angeles. "And, this is right.
"It's going be a great project."
Kroenke said the project will bring the former site of Hollywood Park racetrack the "most unique and fan-friendly stadium in the world."
It is also being billed as the world's most expensive stadium.
"We're going to give you something to be proud of, that's our goal," Kroenke said. "We want to make citizens of the area, certainly the NFL and the residents of Inglewood proud of what we're doing here. We're gonna build a global destination. That's what we think we can do in the entertainment capital of the world. We think people from all over the world will seek this location out."
The stadium, with an estimated capacity of about 80,000, is expected to include 275 luxury suites, more than 16,000 premium seats and have nearly 3 million square feet of usable space. The overall project has a price tag estimated at about $2.6 billion.
According to contractors, the stadium construction will provide more than 3,500 on-site construction jobs in Inglewood and more than 10,000 jobs by the time it is completed.
The stadium is expected to be the centerpiece of an entertainment and commercial center spanning roughly 300 acres. The district is envisioned to include a roughly 6,000-seat arena, nearly 1.5 million square feet of retail and office space, 2,500 residential units and possibly a 300-room hotel, along with 25 acres of parks and open space.