NFL's new Los Angeles stadium for Rams, Chargers delayed a full year until 2020

The initial (latest) foray into Los Angeles did not go well for the Rams. The team went 4-12, handed the Titans a top-five draft pick, fired coach Jeff Fisher and decided to document the whole thing. Year 2 was filled with optimism, but now the team is already dealing with a major issue when it comes to its new stadium.

According to an announcement from the Rams and Chargers on Thursday, the opening of the Inglewood stadium is being delayed for a full year until the summer of 2020. 

The Rams cited "record-setting rain" issues during periods of "mass excavation" that would not allow construction to be done. From the announcement:

Unfortunately, Southern California experienced record-setting rain this winter.  Despite bringing drought relief to the region, the rain fell during the mass excavation period of construction when no other work could proceed in wet conditions.  As a result, we experienced significant delays and lost the better part of two months from early January into the beginning of March.

In the best interest of the project, we have decided to move the opening date to summer of 2020.  This new target gives us flexibility to accommodate any additional delays that may arise while still delivering an unparalleled experience upon opening. This is a stadium that Angelenos, visitors and world-class athletes will celebrate for years to come, and we are committed to making sure this venue is exceptional from the day it opens.

As a result of this decision from the two teams and the parties involved, the Rams will play at the Los Angeles Coliseum through the 2019 season, while the Chargers will play at the StubHub Center for an additional year. 

It's not a huge deal, per se, but both teams just took a pretty big hit when it comes to generating excitement over the opening of a shiny new stadium. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, the project was budgeted to lose 30 days to rain over the entire construction. Instead it lost "twice that in two months."

The Super Bowl in Los Angeles is scheduled for February 2021, which might put the league in a bit of a pickle. League rules won't allow a stadium to host the Super Bowl during its initial season. That means, as the Times notes, that the stadium might need a waiver from the league in order to host the title matchup at the end of its first season in operation. Juggling two teams' home schedules and Super Bowl preparation won't be easy.

Two teams is also why the Inglewood project isn't trying to make up the lost time by cranking up the timeline for construction. According to Rams COO Kevin Demoff, also via the Times, the two teams didn't want to risk pushing the schedule and having to cut any corners. They also wanted to go ahead and pull the band-aid on the delay now, rather than waiting.

"There's chance you could make up the time, but we felt it was better to make the decision now rather than approaching it in late 2018 or 2019, when we are well into the process of building the stadium," Demoff said.

Pushing back the construction a full year also means a year of potentially historic naming-rights revenues that will be lost.

Delayed construction projects are nothing new in just about every corner of this country. But it's certainly an ominous sign for the Rams and Chargers that they're having to push back the opening of the stadium by a full year. 

The transition to Los Angeles has been anything but smooth so far. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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