The future home stadium of NFL American football franchise the Los Angeles Rams is now scheduled to open in the summer of 2020 – and not 2019 as originally planned – after record-breaking levels of rainfall in California.
The Rams will share the stadium with fellow NFL team the Chargers, which will move to Los Angeles this coming season.
Work got underway on the 70,000-capacity, state-of-the-art facility back in November but the level of rainfall has impacted working conditions, with up to two months of potential construction time having been lost.
In a statement, the Rams said: “Unfortunately, Southern California experienced record-setting rain this winter. Despite bringing drought relief to the region, the rain fell during the mass excavation period of construction when no other work could proceed in wet conditions. As a result, we experienced significant delays and lost the better part of two months from early January into the beginning of March.
“In the best interest of the project, we have decided to move the opening date to summer of 2020. This new target gives us flexibility to accommodate any additional delays that may arise while still delivering an unparalleled experience upon opening. This is a stadium that Angelenos, visitors and world-class athletes will celebrate for years to come, and we are committed to making sure this venue is exceptional from the day it opens.”
NFL executives told the ESPN website that the delay could leave the Rams more than $80m (€71.5m) out of pocket.
The stadium is being built on the site of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack (pictured) in Inglewood, California. The ground will serve as the hub of a wide-ranging, 298-acre sports and entertainment district.