Rams Owner Buys Land Near Hollywood Park

Speculation begins that the 60-acre parcel could become a future NFL stadium site.

A 60-acre parking lot on land adjacent to shuttered Hollywood Park has been acquired within the past month by developer Stan Kroenke, owner of the St. Louis Rams.

The Inglewood parcel, on the west end of the racetrack property, was the subject of discussions between the late Raiders owner Al Davis and then-Hollywood Park chairman R.D. Hubbard in the late 1990s as a possible site for an NFL stadium. The proposal was later dropped and the land sold, and in recent years it has been mostly unused while sometimes serving as an overflow parking area for the nearby Forum.

The land is not part of the 238-acre commercial and residential development expected to begin this spring of the existing racetrack property to be known as "Hollywood Park Tomorrow."

However, Kroenke's purchase of the land from previous owner Wal-Mart at the end of 2013, first reported Jan. 30 by the Los Angeles Times and St. Louis Post-Dispatch, has led to speculation that it could be meant for a stadium in the future. There has not been an NFL team in the Los Angeles region since the end of the 1994 season, when both the Raiders and Rams departed.

The Rams could have an escape clause from its lease with the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis following the 2014 season, according to published reports.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed Jan. 31 that Kroenke informed the league of the purchase, ESPN reported. However, according to Goodell, there is no discussion of building or developing a plan to make the location a future football stadium.

"Our policy is they do have to keep us informed of any developments or anything that is going on in the Los Angeles market," ESPN quoted Goodell as saying. "Stan is a very large developer on a global basis. He has land throughout the country and throughout the world. He has kept us informed of it. We're aware of it.

"There are no plans to my knowledge of a stadium development," he added.

There would be numerous regulatory and environmental hurdles to such a development, and it would also require approval from the league's owners.