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As the resident DFO denizen who lives closest to the Rams new stadium project in Inglewood I thought I would begin a series of stadium construction update posts. On Saturday January 30th I headed a few miles East to the lovely, er uh, scenic? no that’s not right either. I went to Inglewood OK? Since the news was released a couple of weeks ago I was curious to see what type of progress was being made with the construction of the L.A. Rams new stadium on the site of the old Hollywood Park race track. First of all, FUCK! I loved Hollywood Park. I would go a couple of times per race season since it’s only a few miles from where I live and I always had a blast watching the ponies. Get some big ass draft beers, a Holly Dog, and a bag of peanuts and I could pretend that I was a life long degenerate gambler with the rest of them. Alas those days are gone for good.
Old Enos Stanley Kroenke snapped up about 300 acres of property right in the smack dab of the greater L.A. Metro area for developing the stadium and the surrounding campus. Business Insider ran an article with the artists renditions of various points of the stadium complex and it’s worth a look. What I wanted to do over the course of the construction is provide YOU! the genteel DFO reader with stadium updates as they occur. I am willing to put boots on the ground to get you hot, breaking construction news as it happens! What I wanted to do today was show you the area as it looked on January 30th 2016 and you can compare the future vision with the current reality.
My first impression was “Holy shit that’s a lot of fucking land!” No kidding the site is fucking massive. It is bordered by Prairie Blvd on the west, Century on the South, almost reaches Crenshaw on the East and is bordered by Manchester Ave on the North.
The featured image at the top of this post was taken from the parking lot of the Hollywood Park Casino facing north. In the distance you can see the Fabulous Forum, former home of the Lakers and Kings and still home to a wide array of concerts and events. If you’ve ever been there you know how big the forum is and when you look at the above map you can see the tiny little round thing in the upper left corner. That’s the Forum and the rest of the surrounding land is basically just being plowed under. The casino is still there, see for yourself.
To the left of the sign you can see the SW corner of the construction zone.
The casino was surprisingly jumping on a Saturday afternoon. While wandering around the site I was left wondering; over the last couple of days there has been talk about the Raiders looking into a move to Las Vegas. All of the old school beat writers are shaking their heads and harrumphing about how the league would never allow this because there’s gambling in Vegas. Well guess what this motherfucker is? It’s a goddamn CASINO right off of the Century Blvd entrance on the actual stadium site! I see no hypocrisy in that. Guess 3 billion buys you a little flexibility regarding gambling and the NFL. Las Vegas better take note.
What I wanted to do today was show what obstacles the developers will be facing in their efforts to both build the stadium and improve the surrounding area. Basically I wanted to show you some real Inglewood life and let you decide if this is going to attract world travelers to the L.A stadium. Which it turns out is being called City Of Champions Stadium as of now. Let me just show you some of this City of Champions life as of this Saturday.
I left my humble town of Mayberry by the Sea (El Segundo) and headed East down Imperial Highway about 3 1/2 miles and proceeded to make a left on Prairie to drive to the site. One of the first things I noticed was some lovely local art work.
That’s just those Kooky 111th Street Crips getting up to their old hijinks. This is about 1 mile from the stadium site. Here is the SW corner of the site at Prairie and Century.
If you click on these photos you can enlarge them. Way off in the distance to the north you can see the Forum again, the rest is all property to be developed. Did I mention how absolutely fucking YUUUGGE this site is? Goddamn that’s a lot of land. In the foreground is Churchs Fried Chicken and yes I now must find out what Texas Pete’s wings are. Just not today. I’ll get to the chicken later.
Along the way we passed some fine dining establishments. This one for instance.
Woody’s Barbecue. It smelled pretty amazing too. I haven’t been to this particular joint but I do have some solid L.A. barbecue recommendations if you are interested.
No vacation would be complete without access to some of life’s necessities. A convenient liquor store always comes in handy.
Now at the corner of Manchester and Prairie we come to the world famous…
Sizzler! You bet your ass I’ve eaten a shitload of Malibu chicken in this motherfucker. The first time I came to the Forum was in 1973-74. My family came down for a Lakers Vs. Pistons game and Hell yes we ate at the Sizzler. It was kind of a Forum tradition for awhile. I used to go to a lot of concerts at the Forum in the late 70’s Early 80’s and we hit the Sizzler up on a few of these trips. There may have been a time when we dropped acid in the bathroom at the Sizzler prior to going to a concert. OR DID WE?
If it’s more provocative entertainment you crave, well, Inglewood has that covered too.
I just fucking love that there is a gun range next door to the adult video store. You can blast off every which way in the same location!
Now if some of you are thinking I’m just making fun of my neighboring city to the Northeast, it’s because I am. Actually Inglewood has some really cool examples of a type of local architecture indigenous to the L.A scene in the 50’s and 60’s. It’s called “Googie Architecture” and yes that is every bit as horrifying to type as I thought it would be.
On Manchester there is a perfect example of this style of architecture in the form of a car wash.
Here’s the old Academy theater only it’s been re-purposed for….something or other.
And it wouldn’t be right to visit Inglewood without visiting the world famous.
Randy’s donuts!!!! Have you ever wondered what’s on the menu at Randy’s? Well wonder no more!!!
I had a bite off of a chocolate cake donut with sprinkles and a cake donut with cherry glaze. Not kidding you this was the first taste of a donut I’ve had in probably 15 years and it was, delicious. I preferred the cherry glaze.
Across from the Forum entrance is the Inglewood Park cemetery. Scenic!
There’s a road that runs from the cemetery across Manchester to the entrance of the Forum that’s named after Laker legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar that looks a little strange when it crosses over into the cemetery. Don’t go Kareem! Stay here on Earth!
Anyway enough of that. I know what you all came to see. Hard core old fashioned in your face construction porn! Boy did you come to the right place. To be honest it’s all ground clearing at this point. The only new construction I saw was a brand new parking lot for the casino so the previous parking lot can be razed along with everything else.
Here’s one of my favorite shots. This is from the construction site adjacent to the casino and looking due east. As a reminder this was taken in the very middle of the second largest city in the U.S. and it is absolutely post apocalyptic.
Trippy shit man!
One thing I was amazed by was how much fucking parking there was for the old racetrack. This shit covered ACRES of land. Oh yes, LAX is very close.
I was encouraged by how many views I was able to get of the site. There were vantage points from all directions so future updates should be good. Here’s a view from the East looking back west. This is the remnant of the Hollywood Park grandstand. It’s left standing because it is essentially the back wall of the casino.
Here’s a view facing south with the Forum in the foreground.
Here’s an old parking entrance. Gate 7. This is NE of the construction and about 2 fucking miles away. It reminds me of a left over relic from a previous civilization. Stonehenge like.
I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I’m bashing the shit out of this poor third world part of town, even though I am, because I saw real signs of gentrification and improvement. Everything to the east of the site has already been cleaned up some. There are entirely new shopping complexes and a HOME DEPOT! The real sign that your neighborhood is on the rebound is when one of these goes into your town:
Don’t think that Inglewood doesn’t have any redeeming value. Hell the city is a veritable cornucopia of cultural significance. That may be overdoing it but when I saw this sign? I was happy.
Because that sign was attached to this building:
And inside this building was this:
Sorry for the poor quality on this one, my fried chicken anticipation was causing me great consternation.
Another thing the Rams players should consider? There may be traffic.
Alright folks let’s tidy this up. I have a feeling this is going to be an amazing piece of work when all is said and done. Did I mention how fucking big this goddamn site is? Because holy fucking cat shit this is a big site. I don’t think the city will screw this up too bad but I will say somebody is going to need a big ass broom and a monster size can of Lysol to put the proper application of lipstick on a pig of this stature.
Once again I plan on giving periodic construction updates with actual real live reporting! Who does that?
Thanks for reading and remember that there is nothing but love for you out here. Cali style love.
All of the photos, not including the map at the top were taking by me personally on the actual site. Look at the lengths I go to for you good folks.