Over the last few weeks, football fans in St. Louis, San Diego, and Oakland have said uncertain goodbyes to their favorite teams. The owners of the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders are all angling for a move to Los Angeles, amidst complicated negotiations with their respective cities, with Los Angeles and surrounding communities, and with the NFL. As of this writing, it is still uncertain who is going to end up where, and if these dedicated fans will have a team next year, or if Los Angeles is going to have one, two, three, or zero teams come the 2016 season.
What is all but certain though is that LA will have a team, eventually. The NFL wants it, and the city wants it. Some investors are so confident that they are already building the stadium. Indeed, in the last week, ground has broken at the Hollywood Park site in Inglewood, which is where the Rams hope to play. What does this mean for real estate values, and how can a residential rehab pro take advantage of it? Different stadiums mean different things, so we’ll look at the Inglewood NFL plan to see what it means for you.
NFL Stadiums: From Local To Isolated To Local Again
The Rams’ bid seems the surest thing right now. Even though St. Louis has tentatively approved a new stadium, Rams owner Stan Kroenke seems determined to move to sunnier climes. The official relocation bidding opens on January 1st, and it is expected that the owners (who make the decisions) will approve his bid by mid-month, before the Super Bowl. Anything can change, though.
What is interesting is that change might not matter that much. The ground broken on the Inglewood site is about much more than just football. It’s part of a new stadium trend, where the massive arena anchors an area, but is not the only game in town. That has a lot to do with how our ideas of what stadiums should be has evolved over the years.
At the beginning of the NFL, and the leagues that came before it, stadiums were pretty small, and tucked away in neighborhoods. One of the oldest teams, the Bears, played at Wrigley Field for their first 40 years, as a 22,000 seat neighborhood baseball field was big enough.
But then, as the 1950s turned into the 1960s, the NFL started to grow explosively. This was due to a number of factors, including the advent of TV (which the NFL was perfectly suited for). The “Greatest Game Ever” in 1958 was watched by millions. There was also the real rise of Western cities, including Los Angeles, which became football hungry.
As the demand for bigger stadiums grew, they relocated. They moved to city outskirts or abandoned land, where they were surrounded by parking lots, well-lit islands in a sea of concrete. People would drive, park, and drive home. They were used 8 times a year, and maybe a few more for concerts. It was a waste of money and space. NFL stadiums were rarely part of the community, especially the original homes of the Chargers and Rams, when they were LA teams.
The Inglewood NFL Stadium Plan: More Than Football
This is changing, though. Most cities when building new stadiums want to integrate it in a community, and build it so that the area is walkable, with a lot to do. Look for example at Pittsburgh or Cincinnati, which have made their stadiums part of vast complexes, replete with stores, movie theaters, restaurants, and more. Even cities without new stadiums, like in Chicago, built up the land around it with mixed-use multi-family buildings.
The new Los Angeles-area stadiums want to be part of this trend. Kroenke’s $1.86 billion plan includes hotels, restaurants, mixed-use buildings, and vast areas for retail. It even includes a lake with a waterfall. See, they want their stadiums to be year-round investments, a place for people to live and work and play, one that grows with excitement and energy on gameday, but isn’t tied to the schedule for its livelihood.
This is important for anyone in real estate, especially residential rehab professionals. There is a lot of evidence that sports arenas have a positive impact on real estate values, because they bring people into an area to spend money, and that brings in more businesses, and more police (meaning a safer area), and things move upwards. This is more relevant for the NBA and MLB, which have 40-80 home games a year.
But imagine if you have not just a stadium, but a new, year-round event area, complete with new stores and restaurants, coming in as if by magic. This will have a huge impact on real estate values. One sign of real estate value growth is proximity to successful areas. Growth tends to spread out. For a fix-and-flip professional, this is a great time to buy in the Inglewood-Hollywood Park area, near the proposed plan, and prepare for a neighborhood that will be adjacent to its growth. Buying now means better sales later.
Values are even better when a team is winning, but for a plan like the Rams, it might not matter. What matters is buying property, and using a hard money loan from Socotra, California’s leading hard money lender, to fix and flip near the proposed stadium. Connect with us today to learn more!
Getting in before the team does can be a great for your residential rehab business. So while you might not be a fan, and might not hear yourself shouting “Go Rams Go!”, if you’re a California fix-and-flip professional you will probably find yourself thinking “Come Rame Come!”