Rams COO Kevin Demoff: New Rams Stadium Will Be A Haven For Sports Tourists
There is a level of excitement in Kevin Demoff’s voice.
Coming off a successful football season, Demoff, the Los Angeles Rams chief operating officer, paced the stage and playfully suggested the crowd of commercial real estate brokers and professionals buy Rams season tickets or relocate their offices to Inglewood during Bisnow’s Los Angeles State of the Market event March 22 at Brookfield Properties’ Figueroa at Wilshire in downtown Los Angeles.
"Show of hands how many of you all have bought your Rams season tickets?" said Demoff, scanning the room for raised hands. Nothing.
"This why I come to these things," Demoff joked. "No hands. We're going to get you guys down there."
The privately financed 298-acre Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District under construction at Hollywood Park will offer a 70,000-seat open-air stadium, a 6,000-seat performing arts venue, 780K SF of office space, 890K SF of retail, a hotel, 2,500 residences, restaurants and 25 acres of public park space.
Originally priced at $2B, the cost of the football stadium along with the developments around it is expected to reach nearly $5B, according to ESPN.
Construction is on schedule with an opening date set for 2020, Demoff said.
Demoff said the stadium and other mixed-use developments in the former Hollywood Park horse-racing track will not only be a football stadium where fans can cheer LA's two football teams — the Rams and Chargers — but also a major sports tourist destination and economic generator for the city of Inglewood and surrounding Los Angeles area.
Demoff said the stadium will bring more jobs to the area. He estimates when the site is fully built out, there will be $15B to $20B worth of investments coming to Inglewood.
The city expects to generate $25M in annual tax revenue.
Demoff said the developers have already begun leasing out the office and retail space and looking into creating a food hall and luring restaurants to the site.
Though it is still under construction, the stadium has already been tabbed to host the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games' opening and closing ceremonies. The stadium has also been awarded host duties for the Super Bowl in 2022 and college football national championship in 2023.
His staff is working hard to bring in other major sporting events to the stadium, Demoff said.
“Part of the benefit of the stadium is to bring in guests and fans from other cities that normally wouldn’t come here,” Demoff said. “When you look at the economic development models for cities with stadiums, it always revolves around bringing in new fans, filling hotels and bringing in tourism dollars. Our stadium is 100% privately financed so there is no discussion of public finance or whether it would offset, this is all a net positive to the city.”
Demoff said he and his staff have been in discussion with airport and city leaders looking for ways to add a Metro stop or some form of public transportation to and from the stadium district so visitors could easily come and go and not have to deal with traffic.
He envisions that someday in the future someone could easily fly into LAX on a Thursday or Friday and take public transportation straight to the stadium, stay at a hotel or use office space, watch the game or a major concert or event and go back to the airport without having to jump in a car.
“About 25% of our visitors are taking the Metro to the Coliseum right now so we know [public transportation] is popular with our fans,” he said.
Though the issue of gentrification has often been brought up, especially with major developments in historically ethnic neighborhoods, Demoff said he views the stadium and entertainment district as a benefit to the community.
“Our project will uplift Inglewood and keep the spirit of the community that it has always been [for] decades,” he said. “We view our project as additive and transformative but we want to make sure that it benefits all residents so they could come run through the parks and trails surrounding the stadium and enjoy high school graduations that will be held there.
“It is important the community views this as a benefit to their lives and really help give Inglewood the status back to what it was,” he said.
He said ownership's goal is for the Rams "to be the most community-minded, fan-friendly team in Los Angeles in the most modern stadium and create one true sports and entertainment district."