Rams to ask NFL for $500m more in funding for new digs

The Los Angeles Rams are seeking to borrow $500 million more from the NFL to build their new stadium which has been hit by cost overruns and coronavirus concerns, US media reported on Thursday.

The club has also asked to double the term for paying back the money borrowed for its state-of-the-art SoFi Stadium from 15 years to 30 years, The Athletic reported.

This is expected to boost the overall cost of the stadium to $5 billion — double the original estimate. The Rams have already borrowed about $400 million from the NFL to build the facility.

The Rams are expected to make their push for the added funds at a virtual owners’ meeting next week.

The new stadium was slated to open this summer for concerts and other events. However because of the coronavirus pandemic, the California government has imposed strict bans on large public gatherings.

Singer Taylor Swift was scheduled to open the stadium in south Los Angeles with two shows, July 25-26, but those have been postponed.

The Rams are scheduled to play their first regular season game at SoFi Stadium on September 13.

The Athletic said that besides cost overruns, the stadium’s tenants have been financially affected by lower than anticipated seat sales revenue due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

When it comes to meeting sales goals, the Los Angeles Chargers are trailing behind the Rams.

“Sales were trending positively towards our goal as we turned the calendar and approached the new league year, but the pandemic has had a quieting effect on what is traditionally the biggest sales period of the year,” a Chargers spokesman told The Athletic.

The Rams and Chargers are sharing the new stadium as part of an agreement that saw the Chargers move to Los Angeles from San Diego in 2016. (AFP)

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