The Los Angeles Rams are slated to see their future home SoFi Stadium open this summer, but the team is requesting a sizable amount in additional funding from the NFL.
According to The Athletic’s Daniel Kaplan, the Rams have requested $500 million in stadium financing from the league, which has already lent $400 million to the costly project. Kaplan’s report cites cost overruns and underwhelming sales for personal seat licenses as reasons behind the request, along with the possibility that the Rams may not see much, if any, revenue from fans this season depending on the trajectory of COVID-19.
The request for funding also reportedly asks for double the repayment period, which if approved would allow the Rams to pay back the cost in 30 years rather than the standard 15. It is possible that if approved, the loan would be split between the Rams and Chargers given that SoFi Stadium will house both teams and the Chargers are responsible for half of the NFL’s initial $400 million in funding.
NFL officials are hopeful to stage games for some fans this fall, despite pushback from government authorities such as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and California Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Rams, like all teams, would face significant losses in revenue if games are to take place in empty stadiums. To combat this, the report notes that NFL owners are to vote on a proposal that would increase each team’s funding limit from $350 million to $500 million.
SoFi Stadium’s building is said to cost $5 billion, the NFL’s most expensive expensive project to date. The 70,000-seat stadium is slated for a July opening and did not halt construction even though a number of workers onsite have contracted COVID-19. Taylor Swift was originally set to headline the venue’s first event, but she has postponed her 2020 tour dates.