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Work begins on potential new home of St Louis Rams

By Matthew Campelli    23 Dec 2015
The stadium development includes a hotel, housing, retail, office space and lake / HKS

Work has begun on the Los Angeles development being earmarked for the relocation of the St Louis Rams days after the local council put together a deal keep the franchise in the Missouri city.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the National Football League (NFL) team’s billionaire owner Stan Kroenke is pressing ahead with the plans to build a US$1.86bn (£1.3bn, €1.69bn) mixed-use development – which includes a 80,000-capacity stadium, hotel, housing, retail, office space and man-made lake – despite the location of the franchise still being up in the air.

Kroenke proposed the HKS-designed development of the Hollywood Park site in January as he attempts to move the team west. It is one of three bids being made by NFL businesses to bring the sport back to the Californian city for the first time since 1994 when the Rams left Anaheim.

Both the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are also competing to build a stadium in Los Angeles.

In a bid to keep the Rams in St Louis, Missouri, the city council has agreed to spend US$150m (£101.2m, €136.7m) to help finance a riverfront football stadium, which is expected to cost in the region of US$1bn (£675m, €911.1m).

The proposal states that rest of the finance would come from the team owner (US$250m, £168.7m, €227.8m), the NFL (US$300m, £202.5m, €273.3m) fan seat licenses (US$160m, £108m, €145.8m) and from the state through taxes and credit bonds. HOK Architects are the designers behind the proposal.

However, a correspondence sent by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to Missouri governor Jay Nixon explaining that the league provides a maximum of US$200m (£135m, €182.2m) to help teams build new stadiums may prove to be a spanner in the works.

The city agreement, which saw councillors vote 17-10 to approve the measure, does not guarantee that Kroenke has to keep the team in St Louis, while a special meeting for NFL owners scheduled for 12 and 13 January 2016 is expected to resolve which franchise will be chosen to make the move to Los Angeles.

NFL rules require that 75 per cent of the 32 owners must approve the move and only one bid can be accepted.

Plans for the Hollywood Park stadium include a sail-shaped roof that’s twice as big as the arena and an adjacent 6,000-seat performing arts venue. The site is being prepared, and if the developers get the green light from the league, stadium construction can start within a couple of weeks.

“Our instructions from the Kroenke organisation are that we would design an entertainment district that would rank globally,” Chris Meany, development manager for the Hollywood Park Land Company, told the Los Angeles Times. “Whether or not there’s going to be a stadium depends on the NFL.”

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