Cost of L.A. stadium has mushroomed

Getty Images

Most projects end up costing more than originally expected. The new stadium in L.A. will cost dramatically more than originally expected.

A lengthy new item from Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN.com explores the dysfunction arising from the return of the Rams and Chargers to Los Angeles, where they will share a stadium built by Rams owner Stan Kroenke. The relationship features plenty of tension and acrimony, with the potentially shattered partnership fueled by one basic reality: The price for constructing the stadium keeps going up, up, up, up, up.

Fewer than five years ago, the Rams believed the stadium would cost $1.86 billion. By late 2015, the number moved to $2.4 billion. Since then, the project has “gone off the rails,” thanks to vendor competition driven by a $14 billion renovation at LAX airport and an unexpectedly expensive infrastructure association with a field that will sit 100 feet below ground level. Heavy rain in 2017 delayed the opening of the stadium by a full year.

By March 2018, the price had moved to $5 billion. Officials with the company building the venue now reportedly refer to it as “our $6 billion stadium.”

Complicating the expense problem is a revenue problem. The Chargers have struggled to sell PSLs, the proceeds of which go directly to defray the costs incurred by Kroenke. The Rams expected $400 million to come from those PSL sales; the actual number will be much lower than that, especially after the Chargers dropped the price for upper-deck PSLs to $100.

So the stadium is costing much more than expected, and the stadium will be bringing in much less money than expected. And the Raiders — the preferred team in L.A., despite any efforts of the Rams and Chargers to change that — will be playing their home games only four hours away, starting next year.

103 responses to “Cost of L.A. stadium has mushroomed

  1. ” The Chargers have struggled to sell PSLs”
    ___________

    If their business plan assumed the Chargers would be selling lots of PSLs then it wasn’t much of a business plan. In related news, sales of ice trays to Eskimos have been lower than expected.

  2. “…big, bold, expensive stadiums that owners had trouble playing for, while also having trouble filling up the seats.”
    – An excerpt from a future book called “Third Time’s a Harm: How greed, stupidity and the return to LA killed the NFL”

    It’s a working title.

  3. This is a state that voluntarily pumps 20 million gallons of potable water per day into the ocean to help the smelt population, while the farmers and people have to ration water.

    I’m sure the cost has to do with crazy environmental hoops they have to jump through.

  4. How much was AT&T stadium? Granted it was 10 years ago when it was built, but it still rivals alot of the “newer” stadiums.

  5. Yet Kroenke and Jerry Jones strong armed this through. By golly, LA is gonna be a football city. They might force 2 more teams there to play and help pay for the 8 billion tragedy.

    Maybe put the cost up to 10 billion and make every seat a hologram if empty with built in speakers that mimics an average persons presence. Then force businesses to buy up 20-100 seat season ticket blocks. Half empty stadium problem solved.

  6. The Chargers should just move. Take the Chargers to a small market that will appreciate NFL football because essentially no one gives a damn about them in L.A.

    Even Rams games look like home games for away teams.

  7. PSL buyers should just wait until the teams start to quickly suck, then everyone wants to get out of the them. Just read all the articles about Santa Clara!

  8. Wow, going from 1.86B to 6B is pretty bad, no doubt.
    But just imagine how bad it would be if all the corruption hadn’t been eliminated.
    /s/s/s

  9. Sounds to me like Kroenke is getting his end fully covered! That’s what happens when your partner controls invoicing…business as usual as the richer of the two gets even more richer

  10. “The good news is that it’s all private money.”
    =========

    Yeah, right. What, you think there are no tax breaks involved?

  11. They deserve every bit of it. LA is not a good NFL market but yet the NFL pushed for two teams to go there at the same time. Who could have guessed this would have happened?

  12. Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. of ESPN.com explores the dysfunction arising…
    —————-
    So is this dysfunction sort of like that in the 2018 Patriots, or the real sort??

  13. “The Chargers have struggled to sell PSLs, the proceeds of which go directly to defray the costs incurred by Kroenke”

    —————————————————–

    Poor guy. He just might drop a few spots on the Forbes list because of this.

    There’s a reason private investors don’t put up their own money to build stadiums. It’s a money losing proposition. Good for the people of California who have woken up to this scam on taxpayers (although I suspect that Stan will somehow find a way to stick taxpayers with at least part of this overage bill).

  14. andreboy1 says:
    November 21, 2019 at 1:56 pm
    The Chargers should just move. Take the Chargers to a small market that will appreciate NFL football because essentially no one gives a damn about them in L.A.

    Even Rams games look like home games for away teams.
    —————————–
    I agree. In an odd twist of fate I’d like to see the Chargers move to St Louis and be successful. That would drive Kroenke nuts 🙂

  15. chino1985 says:
    November 21, 2019 at 1:49 pm
    How much was AT&T stadium? Granted it was 10 years ago when it was built, but it still rivals alot of the “newer” stadiums.

    1.2 billion

  16. With the State dealing with middle class taxpayers fleeing to neighboring States and businesses moving to Texas…only a genius would insert 2 NFL teams in a city best known for the filth on its streets.

  17. And to think that for 500 million the Chargers could have redeveloped their stadium into a beautiful home in sunny San Diego. You deserve every misery you get, Spanos. Same for you Stan. The RAIDERS are the only team in LA that has any real following.

  18. reminds me of when countries build expensive stadiums for use in the olympics – then they sit in shambles and decay after the games have left. could be where this is heading.

  19. randomcommenter says:
    November 21, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    This is a state that voluntarily pumps 20 million gallons of potable water per day into the ocean to help the smelt population, while the farmers and people have to ration water.

    I’m sure the cost has to do with crazy environmental hoops they have to jump through.
    —————————

    You should try to keep up.The amount of water has been dramatically reduced, the farmers are getting their irrigation water & the smelt are nearly wiped out & extinct. So we can continue to get avocados.

  20. I CANNOT believe that costs ran wild in California!! Incredible. Their high speed rail failure started at $10 billion and is now over run to the cost of $77 billion and climbing as of February…

  21. what will this do to the retail and small businesses that were to go in near and around the stadium area? I’d be REALLY careful if I was considering a bar or Subway franchise in that area…

    Was there a “stadium athority” that LA put together to manage all this?

    EVERYONE will pay in the end, and the product on the field will still be, those rams….

    the chargers should move to Tucson or Albuquerque. Well, Bidwell won’t allow Tucson but…. maybe salt lake then.

  22. For that kind of money this better be the best stadium ever known to mankind. Billions are getting tossed around willy nilly like they’re the US government.

  23. How long till the NFL abandons Hollyweird Yet Again???

    I can’t wait to see this 5 billion dollar stadium flood during a rain storm….brilliant ideas out of these goofball cali architects.

  24. As a TV viewer I really can’t tell one stadium from the other…unless they have terrible sun glare on the field or a baseball mound..so who cares. The Rams owner got greddy and the Chargers owner just does’nt have clue. Good luck.

  25. Al Davis is looking down laughing because we all know L.A is Raider nation everyone gonna be driving 4 hours to Vegas from L.A wait till next month when the Raiders play the chargers stadium gonna be blacked out with Raider fans see you there nation….

  26. LA is not the football town they think it is. All the years spent trying to get a team there and multiple posts here about it and not once did I see an LA resident post, “Oh please hurry and send us a new team! We are begging you!”

    Not once….

  27. bad location. Its so long travel time from people that can afford to buy tickets. Well far travel time on LA freeways. When it fails they can stick all the homeless in it. I woner if their bullet train will have a stop there.

  28. Gee if California only had a high speed rail system that was longer than the 50 mile section they already spent 10 billion on that might help them fill seats. Does anything in California actually work they it was designed to?

  29. Ok, LA born and raised football fan.
    1. LA is a transplant region, yes region. Out of 22 million residents maybe 10 million are actual natives, the rest are international, east coast or midwest transplants that either root for their old hometown team or come from a country that has no connection tot he sport.
    2. Rams left LA in 1979 and moved to Anaheim, that was the beginning of the end, Frontere taking them to STL was the nail in the coffin. A few ears I ago i wore an old rams jersey to a bar and the waitresses kept asking what team that was, once they left after 94, no one cared. Yes they ar eback and I am happy and have season tix but i still feel like they are an outsider, gonna take a awhile.
    3. LA Raiders only played 12 seasons in LA, but man did they leave a mark. Yes the gangsters love their colors but they ft the LA image lifestyle. They would have done well in LA but the league would never let a Davis ever move back here. If Spanos had not partnered with them, maybe the Carson project would have won. Wrong on the league. Go to any bar in LA, you will see jerseys from all the teams but a big Raider majority. Problem is, they are now a little over 4 hours away, easy commute. A Raider fan will never ever root for any together team, so a big part of LA NFL fans are taken.
    4. CHargers, thye had 21 years to take ownership of So cal and didn’t, how can they be shocked no one cares for them. They could have stayed in Sd if they had gone with the plan the city was pushing for in MV, no thyewanted downtown and the impossible. They were worried the raiders and Rams would take over So cal and thye would be screwed. To back them up, that happend from 881 to 95 when there were thre teams, so thye had a valid argument. No one here cares for them, anytime football talk happens, one topic is, why are the Chargers here and that they should leave. that will never ever go away, Clippers of the NBA.
    4. National media and LA haters and there are any laugh at us. What they don’t realize is LA is a hodge podge of communities coming from around the world kinda keeping to themselves. NFL should have let the raiders and rams or just the Raiders move to LA.
    Only solution is for the Chargers to go back to SD and partner with SDSU, city gave them control and they have $250 for stadium, it’s a start. Or if they stay here, need to rebrand liek the Oilers/titaans and Browns/ravens did, become an LA team. if they want to sty as the Chargers and stay in LA , maybe do a Az move and become the SO cal Chargers and become a regional team. A of right ow, this mess is making AL look bad unfairly.

  30. Of course it has, Per the state of California: No parts can be manufactured, resourced or delivered using an internal combustion engine. It must be electric. The stadium cannot use outside electricity, it must produce it through use of solar panels and all excess must be donated to the state of California. There can be no vending without 100% recycled serving products, and all must be recycled onsite without using any outsourced assistance. The stadium must produce for the state and be available as a residence in any time of need as determined by the Governor. There will be no flush toilets, actually there will be no water, LA is built on a desert you know, and it’s heritage must be preserved. Oh and it must be private funded.

  31. rockstar904 said:
    November 21, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    “I said the whole time. Raiders to LA, Chargers to Vegas. Rams stay in St Louis. Everyone’s a winner…but nooo they didn’t ask me.”

    =============================
    Everyone is not a winner. San Diego, Oakland, And St. Louis, lose out and no longer have a team. That isn’t winning for them.

    If the Chargers don’t go back to San Diego, I would love to see them move to San Antonio and hope it ticks Jerry Jones off.

  32. Sell the naming rights to Nintendo and call the stadium the “Mushroom Kingdom”.

    (Of course, Disney may object for the name being too close to the Magic Kingdom.)

  33. If I’m not mistaken, this is all coming out of Kroenke’s pocket. San Diego has a sweet heart deal as a renter in this stadium. Effectively 1/3 of Kroenke’s vast wealth ($9.7 Billion total) is being lost to cost over runs.

    OUCH!

    This better be one hell of a stadium.

  34. Silent Stan Kroenke the county bumpkin from Missouri is going to get what he deserves. You see he can’t marry out of this issue nor fall back on his in laws ( Waltons/ Walmart) to provide him a fortune in real estate. Nobody needs to hold a candle for Stan as he has tons of money. In the past he lied to the City of St Louis, PSL holders, and Rams fans everywhere claiming he wasn’t moving the franchise. Yet, we know that he fled to Hollywood. He was bound and determined to prove all those wrong claiming the NFL can’t make it in LA. It’s like the one egomaniac coach that can get the troubled train wreck of a player to play his system and succeed. Well Squirrel Head the whole NFL world new this was an issue from the cost of the stadium, the lack of fan interest, the cost of tickets in LA, etc. Yet you proceeded. So your building it and they won’t come.

  35. Jerry Jones can block a Charger move to San Antonio…he’s not worried. But don’t kid yourself that Jerry is not profiting from both the Las Vegas Stadium (concessions) and Stan’s World.

  36. You should try to keep up.The amount of water has been dramatically reduced, the farmers are getting their irrigation water & the smelt are nearly wiped out & extinct. So we can continue to get avocados.

    =========

    Mack, Mack, Mack. I do feel for you, honest I do. But truth is, my smelt are doing just fine and business has never been better. And avocados are good for you, they help promote regularity so you don’t get all constipated and grumpy about smelt and stuff. You should try them, they taste good too. 😎

  37. All greed. Nobody forced this to happen (except the NFL). At least the public isn’t on the hook. The rest of the NFL owners stand to benefit, but are leaving their franchises to die on the vine. It’s still a mystery why any public financing is allowed to go into these projects when NFL owners are buying $250M yachts.

  38. PSLs are a complete ripoff and are completely anti-Californian (ask the Raiders why the top deck at Alameda is blacked out). Kroenke has too much money and not enough sense to partner with the cheapskate Spanos.

  39. Those who don’t learn from history (the lackluster support for the LA/Anaheim LAmbs and the LA Raiders) are destined to repeat it and suffer lackluster fan support. This time, however, it would be tough for the LAmbs to move to another city, since they own the stadium. The LAmbs first moved from LA to Anaheim and then to St. Louis because of poor fan support. The Chargers first played in LA and then they moved to San Diego because of poor fan support. The Raiders moved back to Oakland because of poor fan support. LA is just not a good NFL town. Luckily for both teams, they can play in an empty stadium and still make money because of the huge contracts the NFL can negotiate with the Networks.

  40. Spanos or Kroenke? Which one is the biggest tool? Tough decision
    __________________________________________________________________
    DOWN VOTE = Spanos
    UP VOTE = Kroenke

    Let the voting begin!!!

  41. From stadiums to wars in the Middle East, the lesson is clear: never trust the wealthy elite. It will always cost all of us more than we think.

  42. I got more….my house is worth $500k in Ventura County, that same house in Vegas would be a million. So if the raider Stadium is coming in at half, doesn’t that make sense comparing it to the LA housing market. Vegas and LA are not an apples to apples comparison.
    Also, if the stadium is full and half the fans are opposing team fans, does it matter? Hot dogs and over priced beer is still flowing, money is money. Rams and raiders left because of stadiums and poop ownership, not fan support. This is LA, if you are winning we spend, if you suck we got millions of other things better to spend our money o. Green Bay, Pittsburg, what is there to do in those redneck poohdunk towns?

  43. Plus its not just a stadium, its a pretty a whole park environment that is suppose to hold a lot of events with the stadium being the centerpiece.

  44. LA is not a good NFL market
    ——————-

    I don’t think that is true at all. It might not be a great Home team market though.

    No doubt that’s a major cost mistake, but they are probably banking on hosting other events which will bring in as much or more revenue than just NFL money.

  45. Bob. Just Bob. says:
    November 21, 2019 at 3:45 pm
    You should try to keep up.The amount of water has been dramatically reduced, the farmers are getting their irrigation water & the smelt are nearly wiped out & extinct. So we can continue to get avocados.

    =========

    Mack, Mack, Mack. I do feel for you, honest I do. But truth is, my smelt are doing just fine and business has never been better. And avocados are good for you, they help promote regularity so you don’t get all constipated and grumpy about smelt and stuff. You should try them, they taste good too. 😎
    —————-

    @ Bob:
    I can see where there may appear to be ambiguity in my comment. Let me try to clarify:
    I’d like to see the survival of the smelt & I’d also like to see the farmers get all the water they need for their purposes. Unfortunately, it seems the politicians have made this an “either,or” proposition. It’s also my understanding that if this current administration gets it’s way, the little fishies are the ones getting the short end of the stick. I’d like to see both sides come out of this thing satisfied.
    And I don’t have anything against avocados.

  46. This is why the Raiders should have been the other team to move to LA. Raiders are huge in LA and would draw the PSLs, and remain in California.

    The Chargers should have been the one moving to Vegas. Where they could have an entirely new fan base. And they already don’t have a home field, that would be perfect for the “tourist” Vegas crowd where the visiting teams can come visit Vegas and see their favorite football team.

  47. It’s funny that people here think that Stan is going to lose money on this deal. I’m fairly certain that some of these “cost overruns” are being funneled back to him from the vendors he’s dealing with and will allow him to set prices in the stadium to quickly recoup any “losses” – he’s a multi-billionaire, he’ll end up making tons of money on this deal.

  48. The no call last year doomed NFL football in Los Angeles. It seemed like a shortcut to jump start interest by getting an LA team to the Superbowl but what it actually did was create expectations and entitlement that were not backed by performance and could not be sustained. That shortcut actually cost the Rams the guts and glory of truly making the journey for themselves, earned their coach who was still learning his trade the inglory of a near shutout against thr Pats, and set up a 2019 where LA fans are less excited by wins because nothing really matters unless they get back to the Superbowl, even then they might get shut out, and they are saddled with aging and or overpaid players. If the correct call had been made the Rams could say they were close but need to work harder to correct mistakes. Instead all they and their fans learned was to wait until things were handed to them.

  49. The only thing that could make me happier than seeing Kroenke lose billions in LA is to see a team back in St. Louis. I love what Spanos has done to Kroenke!

    I think in the end St. Louis might end up with an NFL team as a settlement to their case. Maybe Kroenke will write a large check to Spanos and he will move the Chargers to St. Louis. I know that Kroenke, Jerry Jones and Roger Goodell will never want to testify in a St. Louis court. I fully expect that Kroenke and the NFL will try to settle this case. All we need is an expansion team and some money!

  50. Stadium costs soaring and this from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: JEFFERSON CITY — Four phone companies will have to turn over eight years of cellphone records for National Football League team owners and other top league brass as part of a lawsuit over the Rams moving from St. Louis to Los Angeles.

    The Missouri Supreme Court earlier this week dismissed an attempt by the owners to block a subpoena by attorneys for St. Louis asking for the records, which could shed light on the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by owners that led to the departure of the Rams in 2016 after 21 seasons.

    Not a good week for Enos.

  51. FACT: Spanos is trapped. He owes the better part of $650 million to NFL owners for relocation. He’s contracted with Kroenke for 20 YEARS! The NFL has a faultering franchise with the LA Chargers and NFL owners dislike Spanos intensely. There will be no bail out.

  52. Chargers could’ve had a brand new really nice stadium in Mission Valley. Instead, Spanos can’t even sell PSL’s in the second largest city in the country. Sound business decision.

  53. Guy Hence says:

    November 22, 2019 at 10:59 am

    FACT: Spanos is trapped. He owes the better part of $650 million to NFL owners for relocation. He’s contracted with Kroenke for 20 YEARS! The NFL has a faultering franchise with the LA Chargers and NFL owners dislike Spanos intensely. There will be no bail out.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Sounds like a silver lining, Spanos may have to sell the team.

  54. My brother is an architect in California, works on hospitals and other public buildings but NOT stadiums. The one time we discussed this stadium (he and his girlfriend are now former Chargers fans), he said, “Lots of stadiums have been built into natural or man-made bowls. Just not with that much money at stake.” He also said it’s engineered for three times as much rain as the area has ever received–and that this is no guarantee.

  55. The Raiders couldnt be in LA along with the Rams if the Rams were going to succeed. Rams still might not succeed but they had no chance if the Raiders were there too, plus Kroenke was footing the bill so I suppose Kroenke and the other owners had the right to block any obstacles in his way, like the Raiders moving there. The Chargers are no threat to the Rams potential fan base, and it feels like LA is just temporary for them anyway.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!