At last check, the cost of the new L.A. stadium and the entire surrounding business and residential area was expected to exceed $5 billion. The centerpiece of the project is now expected to have a price tag at more than 80 percent of the prior estimate for the whole place.
According to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, the cost of the stadium itself has moved north of $4 billion. Rams owner Stan Kroenke and his wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, will contribute $1.6 billion of their own money.
To put that in perspective, and as Kaplan notes, Terry and Kim Pegula paid $1.4 billion for the Bills franchise.
In January 2016, when Kroenke first secured approval to build the stadium and to move the Rams from St. Louis to L.A., Kroenke expected a $2.3 billion expense. That quickly moved to $2.6 billion and then to $3 billion. Kaplan explains that the cost increase partially arises from efforts to ensure that the new stadium will withstand an earthquake. The estimate also now includes “soft costs,” like access roads and utilities.
Whatever the stadium eventually costs, Kroenke will surely make it back, with 20 Rams and Chargers games played there every year, a periodic Super Bowl, and plenty of other events.
It also helps that Kroenke has plenty of other money. Still, no matter how many billions a person has, it always hurts to have to spend more than expected — especially when the expectation has nearly doubled.