LOS ANGELES -- The opening of the $2.6 billion football stadium under construction in Inglewood, California, has been pushed back one year to 2020 because of construction delays caused by Los Angeles' uncommonly wet winter.
Los Angeles Rams spokesman Artis Twyman confirmed the delay Thursday for the 70,000-seat stadium, which will be shared by the NFL's Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. The massive project also includes a 300-acre entertainment district.
The stadium was scheduled to open shortly before the 2019 NFL season but is now slated to open in the summer of 2020, the developers said in a statement.
Super Bowl LV already has been awarded to the stadium for Feb. 7, 2021, although the NFL now would have to waive a rule that prohibits a Super Bowl being played at a stadium before it has hosted two full regular seasons. The NFL hasn't yet decided how it will react to the just-announced delay.
The delay shouldn't disrupt the Los Angeles teams' current playing arrangements: The Rams plan to stay downtown in the Coliseum for the 2019 season, while the Chargers confirmed they will stay at the 30,000-seat StubHub Center in suburban Carson. The Rams moved to the Coliseum in 2016, while the Chargers are moving north from San Diego for the upcoming season.
According to the Rams, who are financing the new stadium, developers blame the delays on record rains in the Los Angeles area over the past several months. After ground was broken in November, the rainfall hindered the extensive excavation necessary to complete the project, forcing the crews to halt work for most of January and February (see full story).
Raiders: Board OKs conditional lease for Vegas stadium
LAS VEGAS -- The public board that oversees the proposed stadium where the Raiders want to start playing in 2020 on Thursday unanimously approved a conditional lease agreement for the facility after months of negotiations that were affected by the sudden exit of an instrumental financial backer of the $1.9 billion project.
The Las Vegas Stadium Authority board was running up against a deadline to approve the lease to avoid delaying the team's relocation by a year, as NFL owners gathering next week in Chicago plan to take up the document. It addresses various aspects related to the 65,000-seat stadium, including insurance, repairs, maintenance, naming rights and a rent-free provision.
"We got to the finish line in time, but we didn't start real well, and obviously, that kind of set off some events," board chairman Steve Hill said after the meeting. "We lost six weeks in the process, but we made up for it, the raiders made up for it, and we are here today where we need to be."
The six weeks were lost after casino mogul Sheldon Adelson withdrew his multimillion-dollar pledge from the project just days after the first draft of the lease agreement, which included a $1 annual rent, was unveiled in January. The billionaire's move sent the team searching for $650 million to fill the financial gap he created.
The team ended up securing a loan from Bank of America. Guests of hotels and other lodging facilities in the Las Vegas area are contributing $750 million through a room tax increase, while the Raiders and the NFL all along have been expected to contribute $500 million.
Steelers: Green, Warren released after failed physicals
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers released tight end Ladarius Green and long snapper Greg Warren on Thursday after both failed physicals.
While Warren's departure became imminent after the Steelers made the unusual move of selecting long snapper Colin Holba from Louisville in last month's draft, cutting Green came as a surprise.
Pittsburgh made a rare splurge in free agency when it signed Green to a four-year, $20 million deal in March 2016, pegging him the big red-zone threat the team needed at the position following Heath Miller's retirement.
Green struggled to get healthy following offseason ankle surgery and spent the first half of last season on the physically unable to perform list. He ended up catching 18 passes for 308 yards and a touchdown before leaving a December victory over Cincinnati with a concussion. He did not dress the rest of the year as the Steelers reached the AFC championship game before falling to New England.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said before the draft that the team had no update on Green's status, adding that it would not affect the organization's plans. Pittsburgh did not select a tight end with any of its eight draft choices. The Steelers relied heavily on Jesse James and Xavier Grimble to fill in for Green last season, and both remain on the roster.
The 35-year-old Warren signed with the Steelers in 2005 as an undrafted free agent. He appeared in 181 regular-season and 15 postseason games with the team while helping the Steelers win two Super Bowls and appear in another.
"Greg has been a big part of our past success and we would like to thank him for his contributions and wish him nothing but the best," general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement.