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Chargers, Rams both lose over stadium delay

Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke was delivered a big hit as the opening of his new stadium was delayed due to record amounts of rain.

The new stadium in Inglewood, California to be shared by the Chargers and Rams won’t open until 2020, due to rain-induced construction delays. The biggest loser is the proprietor of the property, since the delay will keep Rams owner Stan Kroenke from getting any return on the $2.6 billion investment (from Rams games, Chargers games, and other events) by a full year.

The two teams that play there will lose, too. As noted by Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times (via SportsBusiness Daily), the Rams may decide to delay the debut of their new uniforms by a year, coinciding with the opening of the stadium. Instead, the Rams may wear blue helmets with white horns but their current blue, white, and gold jerseys and pants not just for the next two years but for the next three. As noted by Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via SportsBusiness Daily), the Rams also will be required to host an international game in 2019, under the rule that every team playing in a temporary stadium must play a home game internationally.

This rule will apply to the Chargers, too. They escaped hosting an international game in 2017 because the teams were picked before the Chargers left San Diego for the 30,000-seat StubHub Center. They’ll have to host games in 2018 and 2019 in London or elsewhere.

The Chargers, while at their temporary L.A. home, will have little or no home-field advantage for three years instead of two -- and they’ll have the diminished revenue that comes from not having a full complement of seats and suites. And there’s now an enhanced chance that franchise quarterback Philip Rivers will never play in the new venue at all.

The league potentially loses, too, if it decides to waive the two-season requirement before a stadium hosts a Super Bowl -- and if any glitches or problems with the stadium during its first year linger into February and diminish the Super Bowl experience. Which is why the NFL has crafted a rule requiring a venue to be in operation for two full years before hosting a Super Bowl.

So Thursday was a day of bad news all around in L.A., with the end result being that the primary reason for the relocation of both teams won’t be available to be utilized by anyone for a full year longer than previously expected.