Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 21 No. 6


The future home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers sits on a massive 300-acre site.
The Los Angeles Rams are literally going deep for pay dirt preparing for the Super Bowl — as future host, as well as a potential participant in this year’s title tilt.

Construction crews working since the fourth quarter of 2016 on the team’s L.A. Stadium and Entertainment District have dug down 100 feet below the surface to lay the foundation for this ambitious facility, which at an estimated $2.6 billion, will be the world’s most expensive sports complex.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke is privately funding the stadium, which will be shared with the Los Angeles Chargers and is slated to host Super Bowl LVI in 2022. At a recent tour of the site, project developers said the facility remains on track to open before the 2020 season, after heavy rains last year forced a one-year delay from the original 2019 target date.

Who's on BOARD?
The people behind the L.A. Stadium and Entertainment District
OWNERSHIP: Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s Kroenke Sports & Entertainment is privately funding the development at an estimated price tag of $2.6 billion, making it the world’s most expensive sports venue.
ARCHITECT: HKS Architects worked with Kroenke to envision the facility.
 CONTRACTOR: Turner-AECOM Hunt is the general contractor joint venture bringing the stadium to life.
DEVELOPMENT: Wilson Meany is developing the retail, office, hotel and residential component of the complex.
SALES: Legends Global Sales is selling suites and eventually personal seat licenses for both the Rams and Chargers.
“We’re way better equipped to deal with rain than last year because now we have pumping systems and ways to manage it,” explained Robert Aylesworth Jr., principal-in-charge of the Turner Construction-AECOM Hunt joint venture that’s serving as general contractor for the complex.

Aylesworth added they are pushing the schedule to get the lower parts of the facility finished quickly.

Workers currently are building two separate structures: the stadium and the roof. “They are not connected, they are completely isolated from each other.”

Aylesworth said of the structures.

The roof is quickly becoming the talkingpoint of the venue, as it’s made of the clear plastic ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene), which was used at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The ETFE roof canopy creates the facility’s signature Southern California indoor/outdoor design as it will cover but not enclose three separate areas including the stadium seats, a performance venue, and Champions Plaza.

The massive 300-acre development sits adjacent to The Forum, Inglewood’s former home of the Lakers and Kings.

The big dig portion is over and eight cranes, enough to build a small city, dot the horizon above one of the nation’s largest construction sites. And while nearly 1,000 workers are currently on site, that number is expected to quadruple by this time next year.

While no officials would discuss current costs, manpower may actually be an issue given the tight labor market and booming Southern California real estate market. “The availability of labor has been the biggest surprise,” Aylesworth said. “It’s a tough market, overheated … right now we’re paying [union] scale, but I’m not sure how long that will last [before they have to pay more].”

But he added it helps that the stadium’s an attractive project. “People like to work on it and drive by with their kids and say, ‘Hey, I worked on that,’” he said.

Workers are building the stadium and the roof separately and are pushing to get the lower parts of the stadium finished quickly.
Mark Williams, principal with HKS Architects, said the project’s scale presents distinctive challenges. “It’s complicated,” he acknowledged. “The seismic criteria for design and technology is the most difficult challenge we have to address.”

Williams said one positive is the early design has “maintained its original form.” The bowl has been carved out of the earth and the steel superstructure is slowly emerging. Some of the custom pieces for the stadium cost as much as $3.5 million each. More than 6.1 million cubic yards of dirt have been moved, enough to fill 600,000 dump trucks, according to site construction officials.

Suites went on sale in August. Chris Hibbs, chief revenue officer for Legends, wouldn’t divulge numbers but said sales have “exceeded expectations, the teams playing really well helped.” He added that PSLs will go on sale soon. Sales will continue out of the L.A. Stadium Premiere Center, which has been open since August and previewing the experience at the new venue.

Robert Gray is a writer living in Los Angeles. He can be reached at

Editor’s note: This story is revised from the print edition.

Banc of California Stadium
Courtesy of: LAFC

Construction spending on sports venues will sink slightly in 2018, but it won’t stay there for long.

Related stories ...
■ What's on Deck? 2018 facilities.

Sports facilities scheduled to open this year in the United States and Canada are expected to tally $4.1 billion in construction costs, capping off an unprecedented three-year stretch that saw nearly $17 billion spent to build or renovate sports venues. This year’s total represents a 40 percent drop from the record-high $6.9 billion that was spent on projects that opened last year. However, SportsBusiness Journal research indicates that the dip will be temporary, as $11.4 billion has already been allocated for projects scheduled to open in 2019 or later.

Another reason for optimism is that there has not been a slowdown in the number of active projects: 75 jobs are either under construction or have been approved to begin soon, a level that has remained consistent over the past several years.

Audi Field
Courtesy of: DC United

The decline can largely be attributed to two factors: 2017 boasted a near-record $5.1 billion on stadium construction, driven largely by projects such as SunTrust Park and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and 2018 will see a shift toward the completion of a number of smaller projects. More than a quarter of the stadium construction wrapping up in 2018, for instance, will be soccer-related.

That’s a trend that architects and contractors expect to continue.

Bruce Miller, a senior principal at Populous, said that the growth of the soccer facility market in the U.S. is paralleling the global trend of teams making significant investments in better stadiums. He said that as MLS continues to expand, lower division teams are also spending money to upgrade their facilities, “with aspirations to someday grow into an MLS franchise.”

Populous’ soccer portfolio of D.C. United’s new Audi Field, National Training and Coaching Development Center (Sporting KC), Allianz Field (Minnesota United in 2019) and Miami’s proposed stadium accounts for nearly $1 billion in overall financial commitments.

Soccer stadiums tend to cost less to build than MLB or NFL stadiums. For example, Banc of California Stadium, the venue scheduled to open in April for the MLS expansion Los Angeles FC, is expected to cost approximately $350 million to build. By comparison, the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field has a sticker price of $1.1 billion, and the stadium being built in Inglewood, Calif., for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers has a projected cost of $2.6 billion.

Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center

Away from pro sports, more than $1.5 billion will be spent building new or upgrading college venues, with a quarter of that happening on Northwestern University’s campus in Chicago (see directory, previous page).

In an increasing trend, much of the college construction is happening on venues that won’t even be used on game day. UNLV, for example, a program with one winning season since 2000, is scheduled to open its $28.5 million Fertitta Football Complex — a practice facility — this year.

Additionally, vendors across the sports construction spectrum say that enhancements to venue security systems and wireless communication networks will also help sustain spending for a while.

Looking ahead, 2019 is expected to be a record year for major league arena ($1.8 billion, which includes Chase Center in San Francisco) and minor league stadium ($498 million) construction, part of the projected $5.8 billion in sports jobs on the hook for that year.

Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center

Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center
City: Milwaukee
Tenants: Milwaukee Bucks, Marquette University men’s basketball
Cost: $524 million
Architects: Populous; Eppstein Uhen Architects; HNTB
General contractor: Mortenson

Louis Armstrong Stadium

City: Queens, New York City
Tenant: USTA U.S. Open
Cost: $450 million
Architect: Rossetti
General contractor: Hunt

Banc of California Stadium

Related stories ...
■ Record run ends, but construction spending to take off again in ’19

City: Los Angeles
Tenant: Los Angeles Football Club
Cost: $350 million
Architect: Gensler
General contractor: PCL

Audi Field
Courtesy of: DC UNITED

Audi Field
City: Buzzard Point, Washington, D.C.
Tenant: D.C. United
Cost: $300 million
Architects: Populous; Marshall Moya Design
General contractor: Turner

Philips Arena*
City: Atlanta
Tenant: Atlanta Hawks
Cost: $192.5 million
Architect: HOK
General contractors: Turner; AECOM Hunt; SG Contracting; Bryson Constructors

ISM Raceway*
City: Avondale, Ariz.
Tenant: Motorsports
Cost: $178 million
Architects: Rossetti; DLR Group
General contractors: Barton Malow; Okland Construction

M&T Bank Stadium*
City: Baltimore
Tenant: Baltimore Ravens
Cost: $144 million
Architect: Populous
General contractor: Gilbane

National Training and Coaching Development Center
City: Kansas City, Kan.
Tenant: Sporting Kansas City training facility; U.S. Soccer
Cost: $80 million
Architect: Populous
General contractor: Turner

The Auerbach Center at New Balance World Headquarters
City: Boston
Tenant: Boston Celtics practice facility
Cost: $76 million
Architect: Elkus Manfredi Architects
General contractor: John Moriarty & Associates

Richmond Raceway*
City: Richmond, Va.
Tenant: Motorsports
Cost: $30 million
Architect: DLR Group
General contractor: Barton Malow

Spectrum Center*
City: Charlotte
Tenant: Charlotte Hornets
Cost: $27.5 million
Architect: AECOM
General contractor: Rodgers Builders

New Era Field*
City: Orchard Park, N.Y.
Tenant: Buffalo Bills
Cost: $15 million
Architect: Populous
General contractor: Arc Building Partners

Target Field*
City: Minneapolis
Tenant: Minnesota Twins
Cost: $13 million
Architect: Populous
General contractor: Mortenson

Coors Field*
City: Denver
Tenant: Colorado Rockies
Cost: $8.5 million
Architect: Populous
General contractor: Mortenson

Las Vegas Motor Speedway*
City: Las Vegas
Tenant: Motorsports
Cost: N/A
Architect: Rossetti
General contractor: Harris

Ryan Fieldhouse; Wilson Field; Walter Athletics Center
City: Chicago
Tenant: Northwestern
Cost: $270 million
Architect: Perkins+Will
General contractor: Walsh/Barton Malow

Boston College ballpark and football field house
Brighton, Mass.; Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Tenant: Boston College
Cost: $200 million (includes other ongoing sports venue construction)
Architects: CHA Consulting Inc./DLR Group (ballpark); ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge (field house)
General contractor: Bond (ballpark); Suffolk (field house)

Athletes Village; track and field stadium
Tenant: University of Minnesota athletics
Cost: $166 million
Architects: BWBR Architects; RDG Planning & Design
General contractor: Mortenson

Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium*
Fayetteville, Ark.
Tenant: Arkansas
Cost: $160 million
Architects: Populous; Polk Stanley Wilcox
General contractors: CDI; AECOM Hunt

Arizona Stadium*
Tucson, Ariz.
Tenant: Arizona
Cost: $150 million
Architects: Populous; Swaim Associates Architects
General contractor: JE Dunn

Welsh-Ryan Arena*
Evanston, Ill.
Tenant: Northwestern
Cost: $110 million
Architect: HOK
General contractor: Mortenson

Fifth Third Arena*
Tenant: University of Cincinnati
Cost: $87 million
Architect: Populous
General contractors: Skanska; Megen Construction

Sanford Stadium*
Athens, Ga.
Tenant: Georgia
Cost: $63 million
Architect: HOK
General contractor: DPR

Finneran Pavilion*
Tenant: Villanova
Cost: $60 million
Architect: EwingCole
General contractor: Hunter Roberts

Viking Pavilion and Peter W. Stott Center*
Tenant: Portland State
Cost: $51 million
Architect: Woofter Architecture; Sink Combs Dethlefs
General contractor: Fortis

Jack Breslin Center*
East Lansing, Mich.
Tenant: Michigan State
Cost: $50 million
Architect: Rossetti
General contractor: Barton Malow

The Bentley Arena
Waltham, Mass.
Tenant: Bentley College
Cost: $45 million
Architect: Architectural Resources Cambridge
General contractor: Suffolk Construction

Fertitta Football Complex
Las Vegas
Tenant: UNLV
Cost: $28.5 million
Architect: Klai Juba Wald
General contractor: Whiting-Turner

University of Arizona Indoor Sports Center
Tucson, Ariz.
Tenant: Arizona
Cost: $18 million
Architect: HOK
General contractor: Mortenson

English Field at Union Park*
Blacksburg, Va.
Tenant: Virginia Tech baseball
Cost: $18 million
Architect: Cannon Design
General contractor: Whiting-Turner

Oxford-University Stadium at Swayze Field*
Oxford, Miss.
Tenant: University of Mississippi baseball
Cost: $13 million
Architect: Cooke Douglass Farr Lemons
General contractor: Century Construction

Panzer Stadium
State College, Pa.
Tenant: Penn State lacrosse
Cost: $8.4 million
Architect: Moody Nolan; APArchitects
General contractor: PJ Dick

Jacksonville State University Stadium
Jacksonville, Ala.
Tenant: Jacksonville State baseball
Cost: $7.5 million
Architect: Davis Architects
General contractor: Morris Building Constructors

Griffin Family Performance Center
Norman, Okla.
Tenant: Oklahoma
Cost: $7 million
Architects: Studio Architecture; Sink Combs Dethlefs
General contractor: N/A

St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena
Washington, D.C.
Tenants: NBA G League Capital City Go-Go; WNBA Washington Mystics; Washington Wizards’ practice facility
Cost: $65 million
Architects: Rossetti; Marshall Moya Design
General contractor: Smoot-Gilbane Joint Venture

Impact Field
Rosemont, Ill.
Tenant: Chicago (Independent) Dogs
Cost: $60 million
Architects: AECOM; Snow Kreilich Architects
General contractor: Northern Builders

SRP Park
North Augusta, S.C.
Tenant: Augusta (Class A) Greenjackets
Cost: $44 million
Architect: Odell
General contractor: Bradfield & Gorrie

McKinney Stadium
McKinney, Texas
Tenant: McKinney, Texas, Independent School District high school football
Cost: $69.9 million
Architect: Stantec
General contractor: Manhattan Construction Group

Freedom Field
Alvin, Texas
Tenant: Alvin, Texas, Independent School District high school football
Cost: $41.4 million
Architect: Stantec
General contractor: Manhattan Construction Group

Esports Arena Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Tenant: Esports
Cost: $8.7 million
Architect: YWS Design & Architecture
General contractor: N/A

* Renovation
N/A: Not available
Notes: Stadium-related projects are primarily for football use unless noted otherwise. Venue names listed as of Jan. 2.
Sources: SportsBusiness Journal archives, architects, contractors and public documents