A Look Back at All the Doomed L.A. Stadium Proposals

L.A. Coliseum proposal, 1999
L.A. Coliseum proposal, 1999
Meis Studio

L.A. is now looking forward to welcoming the Rams to Inglewood, and maybe the Chargers, too, ending a 21-year pro football drought. It's certainly been a long time coming. But let's take a moment to look back at some of the many stadium proposals that never got off the drawing board. They were all so shiny and full of hope — and all doomed, every last one of them.

The L.A. Coliseum. Above is one of the earliest incarnations, a proposal solicited by the L.A. Coliseum Commission in 1999. Some folks believe in showing respect to tradition. Others believe in planting giant masts next to historic buildings and then suspending roofs from them. L.A. wasted a good decade trying to get some version of this done, before finally giving up in 2007.

The Roski proposal
The Roski proposal
Hammes Company Sports Development

City of Industry: Nothing subtle about this one, from 2008. Then again, you have to work hard to grab people's attention when you're all the way out by the 57 freeway. Looks like the architect was inspired by Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Ed Roski liked to tout his project as "shovel-ready" — and for all we know, he's still standing out there with his shovel, trying to make this garish thing happen.

Farmers FieldEXPAND
Farmers Field
AEG

Downtown L.A. Who can forget Farmers Field? Until it fizzled, this was going to be Antonio Villaraigosa's legacy. It would have been a bold statement that DTLA is the undisputed cultural center of the region. Well, so much for that. In retrospect, you could say that FF marked a new level of seriousness about bringing back the NFL. Still and all, it was a total waste of time. Also, where were people supposed to park?

The Rose Bowl, modified for the NFL
The Rose Bowl, modified for the NFL
HOK

The Rose Bowl. Here's another giant waste of time. Pasadena spent several years trying to fall in love with the NFL, only to decide it likes the Rose Bowl just fine as it is. There were renderings and environmental reviews, and even a ballot initiative that failed miserably in 2006. Probably for the best. It's impossible to get in and out of there, and you always end up paying $30 to park in some guy's front yard.

The proposed Carson stadium
The proposed Carson stadium
Manica Architecture

Carson. Poor Carson. The city best known for having an Ikea has been trying to "get on the map" for decades. Back in the ’90s, superagent Michael Ovitz got the city's hopes up with his "Hacienda" proposal, which went nowhere. The Chargers and the Raiders got the city's hopes up again last year, announcing plans to build this giant flying saucer on the site of an old landfill. The city tossed aside its long-standing plan to put a mall on the site and jumped in bed with the NFL. Ah well. Now it's back to the mall — if that's even still viable. Carson's mayor has let it be known that the city is still available if things don't work out in Inglewood. C'mon, Carson. It's over. Have some pride.


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