INGLEWOOD — The first benefit of the Rams moving here was delivered May 24 by National Football League owners on the other side of the continent.
Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, the owners announced that the 2021 Super Bowl would be played in the Rams’ new stadium here.
“Having the Super Bowl awarded to the city of Inglewood is the exclamation point for the story that has been written for the last five years,” Inglewood Mayor James Butts said. “When I took office, the city was six months away from bankruptcy and receiving the Super Bowl takes us from national attention to international notoriety.”
Butts said the game would be good for the city’s economy as well as its image.
“Even our smaller businesses are going to get so much money and opportunity sales,” he said. “Most people are not going to be spending lots of money on expensive meals everyday. They are going to be eating at our mom and pops … smaller restaurants. They are going to shop at our stores. They’re going to get opportunity sales that they would have otherwise not gotten.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also was excited about the news. Garcetti was speaking to the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce when news of the owners vote came through.
Garcetti said he wanted to expand the celebration to neighborhoods around the stadium, such as Crenshaw. He said he hopes the game serves as an opportunity to showcase all of Los Angeles, so visitors get a good understanding of the city.
“We want to make sure that we have public transportation so people who are going to the Super Bowl can take it, and that they can come to Crenshaw Plaza, so they can see the arts, the music, the culture and that local businesses can get a piece of the action, too,” Garcetti said
He also wants to make sure the jobs to build the stadium go to locals.
“People from Inglewood and South L.A. need to be the construction workers on the new stadium,” he stated.
Local residents interviewed within hours of the announcement also seemed happy with the news. Most of them said they believe it will help the economy and employment.
“It’s wonderful news,” said Inglewood resident Rhonda Hicks. “It brings money to the neighborhood. It makes L.A. a better place. It brings jobs and it does something for our economy and we need it.”
Even neighboring residents hope the big game will help their areas.
“We could use the revenue, definitely,” said Malek Ruben Gomez, a resident of Lennox. “We have LAX right here and the area around it doesn’t have much, so with the Super Bowl coming, it’s going to bring a wave of money into the area which we could use.”
Despite the positive reactions, some remain skeptical on how it will affect housing and rent.
“I think its great they’re bringing it to Inglewood,” Shelby Jones said. “Unfortunately, I’ve heard rumors that people are going to have to move, so that will be bad. My neighbor’s rent increased tremendously, so they had to move, so that was sad.
“I hope everyone will be financially able to afford to move to an area they like. But the positive is, it will bring jobs and more activity to Inglewood.”
The NFL owners awarded the 2019 Super Bowl to Atlanta and the 2020 to Miami, cities that have hosted the Super Bowl multiple times since the Los Angeles last hosted one in 1993. That one was played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
According to the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, which helped spearhead the effort to land the game, the area’s bid included 60,000 hotel room nights, with the possibility of generating up to 100,000 total room nights. Organizers said that while the game will be held in Inglewood, related events will be held throughout the region.
Casey Wasserman, chairman of the bid committee, said he was “honored” at the NFL’s decision.
“The league’s selection of Los Angeles is a testament to its commitment to innovation and diversity, and I couldn’t be prouder of our winning bid,” he said. “[Rams owner] Stan Kroenke’s vision for the Rams stadium and the surrounding campus makes Inglewood an ideal venue for staging the Super Bowl of the future, and we look forward to inviting the nation and the world to L.A. for an historic fan experience.”
Wasserman is also the head of the group that is seeking to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Los Angeles. He and Garcetti both said the Super Bowl bid could help with the Olympics as well.
“I think this will give us momentum to the Olympic bid also and it also helps us cue up that L.A. is the best sports town in the world,” Garcetti said. When we do things we don’t just do it for those who are able to afford the luxury. We do it for the next would-be star who can be on that turf in another 10 years.”