Kroenke’s proposed playground in LA befits a billionaire

An artist's rendering by the architectural firm HKS of the proposed new football stadium in Inglewood. Look spiffy?

Detailed designs for Stan Kroenke’s proposed stadium in the Los Angeles ‘burbs are out, and the vision of the Rams’ billionaire owner doesn’t disappoint.

From a unique wave design to a sail-shaped clear structure to cover the stadium and surrounding plaza, it’s about what you’d expect from a group willing to privately finance a $1.86 billion venue on the site of the old Hollywood Park in Inglewood. If created according to plan, Kroenke’s shiny new playground would make the proposed St. Louis stadium and virtually every other sports facility in the world look quaint by comparison.

He’ll have those plans with him this week for the NFL owners meetings in Arizona, where it’s a safe bet relocation will be a hot topic despite the league’s proclamations that no one will be allowed to move in 2015. Stadium plans in Los Angeles are all the rage, from Kroenke’s next great wonder to a backup plan pitched by the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders to become LA co-tenants.

Kroenke’s extravagant roof would not only protect against LA’s easily mocked fear of that rare rainfall, it would also give him the world’s biggest billboard to attract those flying in and out of nearby LAX. Additionally, the facility could host other events such as the NCAA Final Four, a logical fit since the NCAA and NFL are both dedicated to pursuing every last dollar, often without regard for their athletes.

A 6,000-seat performing arts venue and a "Champions Plaza" would accompany the 80,000-seat stadium, perhaps a sign Kroenke believes all the Rams need to become winners after more than a decade of futility is more culture.

All the amenities and elegance put Kroenke within range of the ambition that fuels the proposed Qatar-oil-money-financed stadiums for World Cup 2022 and drove Jerry Jones to build AT&T Stadium. In fact, the home of the Dallas Cowboys cost considerably less, coming in at $1.43 billion, adjusted for inflation.

Think such price tags are completely out of whack? Sure, in your world and mine, but in Roger Goodell’s NFL, not so much. The commissioner’s vision is for league revenues to rise from around $10 billion to $25 billion by 2027.

Just don’t ask about the cost of tickets.

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