A new de­sign for pro­posed L.A. sta­dium

Charg­ers and Raiders re­vise the plans and ren­der­ings for a $1.7-bil­lion project in Car­son

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Sam Farmer and Nathan Fenno

Two months af­ter un­veil­ing plans and ren­der­ings for a sta­dium in Car­son, the San Diego Charg­ers and Oak­land Raiders have com­pletely over­hauled their de­sign for the $1.7-bil­lion project.

The Charg­ers and Raiders pre­sented their con­cept in New York this week to NFL Com­mis­sioner Roger Good­ell and the Com­mit­tee on Los An­ge­les Op­por­tu­ni­ties, com­posed of six team own­ers.

Although the orig­i­nal ren­der­ings were cre­ated with in­put from only the Charg­ers, the new de­sign is the re­sult of al­most two months of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the fran­chises.

The re­vised plans show a fu­tur­is­tic open-air venue with a peri­style in­ten­tion­ally rem­i­nis­cent of the one at the L.A. Me­mo­rial Coli­seum.

“We wanted the build­ing to be iconic and sleek, like a luxury

sports car,” said David Man­ica, pres­i­dent of Man­ica Ar­chi­tec­ture, who is designing the sta­dium. “Very aero­dy­namic, in mo­tion, flow­ing lines from ev­ery an­gle.”

A sig­na­ture el­e­ment of the de­sign is a 115- to 120-foot tower that rises through and extends above the main con­course. It would serve as a pedestal for a caul­dron that would change depend­ing on the team.

When the Charg­ers play, sim­u­lated light­ning bolts would swirl be­hind glass en­cas­ing the tower and, if the team were to score a touch­down, a bolt would shoot out of the top. For Raiders games, a flame would burn in the caul­dron in honor of leg­endary team owner Al Davis.

The plan would not call for the flame to burst up from the tower in the event of a Raiders touch­down.

If the venue were to play host to a Su­per Bowl, the tower would be trans­formed into a gi­ant Lom­bardi Tro­phy.

Car­son’s City Coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved the pri­vately fi­nanced sta­dium Tues­day, though many de­tails re­main to be ne­go­ti­ated be­tween the city and teams. The project would oc­cupy the 168-acre site of a for­mer land­fill next to the 405 Free­way.

Although the pre­vi­ous sta­dium de­sign in­cluded a mul­tilevel suite tower on one side, the new plan’s con­tigu­ous ex­te­rior en­cases a horse­shoe seat­ing con­fig­u­ra­tion that’s open on one end. De­sign­ers ex­pect that change to help sur­round the field with noise. Flow­ing bands wrap around the out­side of the struc­ture.

The “core con­cepts” of the project, Man­ica said, fo­cus on an open and airy de­sign.

“Own­er­ship re­ally wants to cel­e­brate the his­tory and en­thu­si­asm of foot­ball in Los An­ge­les,” he said.

Man­ica for­merly worked at HOK Sport. There, he led the de­sign of the Hous­ton Tex­ans’ sta­dium, the ren­o­va­tion of the Miami Dol­phins’ sta­dium and the seat­ing bowl of Wem­b­ley Sta­dium in Lon­don.

A ri­val sta­dium project in In­gle­wood, backed by St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke, would have a roof — though it is open air on the sides — and ar­ti­fi­cial turf. It would be set 100 feet into the ground.

In Car­son, the plan is to have seat­ing at ground level and use nat­u­ral grass.

Kroenke has had a small army of ar­chi­tects and en­gi­neers work­ing on the de­sign for his project for a year, and the plans are sig­nif­i­cantly fur­ther along. The Charg­ers first in­ves­ti­gated the Car­son site last sum­mer and started col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Raiders on the sta­dium de­sign March 1.

Dozens of ren­der­ings of other would-be NFL sta­di­ums in the Los An­ge­les area have come and gone in the two decades since the Rams and Raiders left. None of them ma­te­ri­al­ized. That in­cluded one pro­posal in 1999 for a Span­ish-style sta­dium on the same site in Car­son with a bell that would ring af­ter touch­downs.

Mean­while, Man­ica’s 10-per­son team is es­sen­tially fin­ished with con­cept de­signs for the project. The next step is schematic de­signs, which con­tain sig­nif­i­cantly more de­tail and are ex­pected to take four to six months to com­plete.

The color of the sta­dium’s seats has not been de­cided. But Man­ica has en­ter­tained the pos­si­bil­ity of in­stalling clear seats that re­flect the color of lights shin­ing on them.

The Charg­ers and Raiders are ex­pected to present their new sta­dium de­sign to the rest of the 32 teams at the league meet­ings in San Fran­cisco next month. Kroenke and the city of St. Louis also are ex­pected to give sep­a­rate pre­sen­ta­tions.

Ul­ti­mately, the NFL will de­cide which sta­dium project to pur­sue, with that de­ci­sion hing­ing on the three-quar­ters ma­jor­ity vote of the league’s own­ers.

Jef­frey Pol­lack, spe­cial ad­vi­sor to Charg­ers Pres­i­dent Dean Spanos, said that a goal for the Car­son venue is “to cre­ate a sig­na­ture build­ing for Los An­ge­les that peo­ple rec­og­nize world­wide.”

Man­ica Ar­chi­tec­ture

IN RE­VISED PLANS for an NFL sta­dium, when the Charg­ers play, sim­u­lated light­ning bolts would swirl be­hind glass en­cas­ing a tower that rises through and extends above the main con­course.

Man­ica Ar­chi­tec­ture

AN ARTISTS’ REN­DER­ING shows an over­hauled de­sign for a pro­posed new sta­dium for the Charg­ers and Raiders in Car­son. For more ren­der­ings, go to la­times.com/sports.

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