Rain delay: Rams, Chargers have to wait until 2020 to move into new stadium
It now apparently rains enough in Southern California to delay the opening of an NFL stadium.
An extraordinarily wet winter in Los Angeles delayed construction on the future home of the Rams and Chargers to the point that the two NFL teams have decided to push back their move into the new stadium until 2020, a year later than planned.
The Rams and Charges released statements on Thursday, saying work essentially ground to a standstill for two months between early January and early March.
"In the best interest of the project, we have decided to move the opening date to summer of 2020," a statement from the Rams read. "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."
Chargers president Alex Spanos added: "Our focus is always on the fan experience. Our future home will be the best stadium in the NFL and deliver a transformational experience for Chargers fans. If getting it right means pushing back the completion date, then I think the extra year is well worth it."
The timetable already had been tight for the stadium in Inglewood, which is expected to cost $2.6billion.
Now both teams will play the 2019 season at their temporary homes -- the L.A. Coliseum for the Rams and the StubHub Center in Carson for the Chargers -- before setting up shop at the new, state-of-the-art facility the following year.
It is unclear immediately what effect, if any, the one-season delay could have on the Super Bowl after that 2020 season.
NFL rules have long held that a new stadium cannot host the Super Bowl in its first season, and the Inglewood stadium is slated to host the Super Bowl in February 2021.