St. Louis Rams Owner Plans to Build NFL Stadium in Inglewood

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Stan Kroenke wants to open a 80,000-seat stadium on the site of the former Hollywood Park racetrack by 2018

Los Angeles is edging closer to becoming the home of an NFL team after St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced plans to build a football stadium in Inglewood, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. 

Kroenke, along with partners Stockbridge Capital Group, revealed to the Times plans to build an 80,000-seat NFL-ready stadium on the site of the former Hollywood Park racetrack. Adjacent to the Forum, the 238-acre site is owned by Stockbridge, and Kroenke purchased a further 60 acres near the site just over a year ago. Both partners in the project said the proposed stadium will be funded with private money and will open by 2018. 

On top of the existing development of retail, office, hotel and residential space, the site also will include a 6,000-seat performance venue.

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Terry Fancher, founder of Stockbridge, told the Times: "We are excited to unveil an expanded plan that will bring a world-class sports and entertainment district to Hollywood Park. … We are committed to working with [the Kroenke Group] to build a project that will put Inglewood back on the map as home of the truly great sports and entertainment venues."

The announcement is the strongest sign yet that pro football could return to L.A. for the first time since both the Rams and the Raiders left after the 1994 NFL season. Kroenke's plan has the support of Inglewood mayor James T. Butts Jr., who told the Times: "This will hasten the time for the citizens of Inglewood to get the project they deserve. … This is something they have waited for for a long time."

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Kroenke's firm hopes to gather signatures soon to place the project on the Inglewood municipal ballot in 2015.

The Inglewood stadium news gives Kroenke, who also owns the NBA's Denver Nuggets and leading English soccer club Arsenal among other sports assets, further negotiating power in his battle with the city of St. Louis over renovations to the Rams' current home. Built in 1995, the Edward Jones Dome is considered outdated by modern NFL standards.

A number of teams have been linked with a move to Los Angeles in recent months, including the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the league would be accepting applications for only next season.