LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The opening of a $2.6 billion stadium for the Rams and Chargers in Inglewood will be delayed a year due in part to unusually heavy rains, officials said Thursday.
The planned the 70,000-seat stadium and 300-acre entertainment district located on the site of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack will not open until 2020 after "rain fell during the mass excavation period of construction when no other work could proceed in wet conditions," according to a statement issued by the Rams.
"As a result, we experienced significant delays and lost the better part of two months from early January into the beginning of March," the statement read.
The announcement comes nearly seven months after a groundbreaking ceremony for the project was held in November.
Since March, earth movers have been working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At least five million cubic yards of dirt had to be removed. While crews were digging, the rain formed a massive lake, bringing the work nearly to a standstill.
"It's disappointing we have to come out and say we've got to push the stadium back a year," Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff told CBS2 Thursday. "But Stan's vision is a transformative project in Inglewood... it has to be perfect. From day one, it has to be the best sports and entertainment district in the world. Because of the rain, when we looked at our timetable, to open up the stadium in 2019, just wouldn't fulfill Stan's vision."
The delay means the Rams will continue playing at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Chargers will remain at the StubHub Center in Carson through the 2019 NFL season.
"Our focus is always on the fan experience," said A.G. Spanos, president of business operations for the Chargers. "Our future home will be the best stadium in the NFL and deliver a transformational experience for our Chargers fans. If getting it right means pushing back the completion date, then I think the extra year is well worth it."
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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