The iconic Hollywood Park Racetrack grandstand, which played host to 75 years of horse racing fans, was destroyed Sunday morning in a controlled implosion.
The 6 a.m. implosion in Inglewood was watched by "Bring Back the Rams" fans, according to Inglewood Mayor James Butts. Destroying the grandstand clears the way for a proposed $2 billion football stadium, entertainment and residential complex.
"The Forum was the economic revival center for the city and this becomes a development that catapults us to national prominence in terms of economic development, sports and entertainment," Butts said.
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Built in 1938 and closed in 2013, the racetrack sits next to The Forum, a concert venue that at different times played host to the following Los Angeles sports teams: the Lakers, Kings, Clippers and Sparks.
The roughly 300-acre racetrack site is at the heart of St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke's plan to return sports to Inglewood with an 80,000-seat stadium.
A concert venue, hotel and retail, office and residential space would be built in the development, approved by Inglewood City Council February 24 but still not guaranteed to bring Kroenke's Rams to the Southland. It's one of two major contenders to host a Los Angeles-based NFL team, along with a $1.7 billion proposed stadium that would host the Raiders and Chargers in Carson.
"It's a good first step. The Rams will be here," said Javier Quinones, a Rams fan who came to watch the implosion Sunday morning.
Another part of the structure was not part of Sunday's demolition. It was planned for demolition at a later date.