One of the biggest questions coming out of the Rams move to Los Angeles is whether or not the stadium will actually affect the economy and local businesses in and around the Inglewood site. After all, there are only eight home football games a year — not counting playoffs — so even if Inglewood hosts a Super Bowl, that means the stadium is being used nine times in 365 days. Not exactly a huge boost. The vision for the venue is much more than that. The hope is that the stadium can host big-time sporting events like Final Fours, become a large concert venue, and have other special events to make it as close to a year-round venue as possible.
One suggestion that has come up in recent discussion is soccer matches taking place at the new field. The stadium will have over 70,ooo seats, which is more than enough to hold CONCACAF games and international friendlies. It will also probably host a few Arsenal international friendly matches. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is also the largest shareholder of Arsenal F.C., so it stands to reason that the team may play a few games here. It also helps that the southern California market is rife with soccer fans, and it is a good opportunity for Kroenke and Arsenal ownership to build a larger international following.
As mentioned by Bill Simmons on his podcast, football stadiums generally don’t host many musical acts. Only Met-Life Stadium at the Meadowlands held more than 20 last year. That shouldn’t be a harbinger of bad news because the new Inglewood stadium can essentially replicate Met-Life’s strategy. Not only will it be one of the largest concert venues in the greater Los Angeles area, the Inglewood site will have top of the line technology. It will allow musical artists who have grand visions of what their show can provide to take chances on the fan experience. It also helps that a lot of artists call L.A. home.
All of this discussion hasn’t even taken into account Pac-12 title games, the NFL draft and combine, conventions, special events, and maybe even the future Olympic bid. The stadium and the Inglewood campus will be about much more than just Sunday football. That’s probably one of the reasons the owners voted in a fashion that moved the Rams back to L.A..
Michael Colangelo is Managing Editor of The Fields of Green and Assistant Director at the USC Sports Business Institute.