INGLEWOOD (CBSLA.com) — The NFL is digging its heels into Southern California with a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday at the Rams future home in Inglewood.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Inglewood Mayor James Butts were among the dignitaries on hand for the ceremony at the site of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack.
"It's our goal to build the most unique and fan-friendly stadium in the world," Kroenke said. "We're going to give you something to be proud of, that's our goal."
The L.A. Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park is expected to be open in time for the 2019 season. Work to clear the site officially began about two years ago.
Designed as 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.
"We spent so much time in this market, knowing how great the fans were, how successful a franchise would be, but we had to get it right," Goodell said. "And this is getting it right."
The stadium is projected to have an estimated capacity of about 80,000, with 275 luxury suites, more than 16,000 premium seats and nearly 3 million square feet of usable space. The overall project has an estimated price tag of 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.
"We want to make citizens of the area, certainly the NFL, and the residents of Inglewood proud of what we're doing here," Kroenke said.
Meanwhile, the defeat of a measure this month that would have funded a new Chargers stadium in San Diego has revived discussion of that team relocating to play in the forthcoming Inglewood stadium.
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