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Rams stadium costs top $4 billion

5/17/2018 7:33:21 AM
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Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke and his wife, Ann Walton Kroenke, are investing $1.6 billion in the team’s new Inglewood stadium, a project that now costs in excess of $4 billion, Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal reports. The information was provided by finance sources after banks met earlier this month to arrange a $2.25 billion loan for the construction.

The Kroenkes’ $1.6 billion investment is higher than the final price of the last NFL team to sell, the Buffalo Bills, which were bought by Terry and Kim Pegula for $1.4 billion in 2014. That underscores the allure of the L.A. market as well as the surging price of building the yet-to-be-named stadium.

“It is unprecedented,” one banker said of the investment. By comparison, after debt, the top equity infusions into stadiums from NFL team owners, such as the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones and Falcons’ Arthur Blank, have topped out at a few hundred million dollars. Kroenke also has agreed to a completion guarantee, the finance sources said, meaning he covers cost overruns and is responsible for the debt if the project does not open on time.

The $4.25 billion cost for the 298-acre site just four miles from LAX airport more than doubles the most expensive stadium ever built in the U.S., the $1.7 billion spent on MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The cost also includes the value of a 6,000-seat amphitheater but not the planned retail and commercial development, as well as the building of a new NFL Network home that is expected to drive the total cost of the project close to $5 billion if not more, the finance sources said.

The price tag has skyrocketed since NFL owners first approved the stadium in January 2016, when Stan Kroenke estimated a price tag of $2.3 billion. It soon rose to $2.6 billion, and then in March got cited in media reports as $3 billion. Part of the soaring cost is due to ensuring that the venue can withstand an earthquake, and the new projected figure includes what are known as soft costs, which cover items such as access roads and utilities and by themselves are budgeted at $850 million, the sources said.

The Rams declined to comment.

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