Inglewood residents reacted positively to Monday's news that St. Louis Rams owner and real estate mogul Stan Kroenke planned to build a new stadium in their city, fueling speculation that the NFL may be on its way back to L.A. after a 20-year absence.
But they also expressed skepticism that a team would actually arrive; after all, the last time Los Angeles had football teams (the Rams and the Raiders), Bill Clinton was president, "Friends" was the biggest show on TV and Boyz II Men topped the pop charts.
Still, residents told KPCC that they thought the stars had finally aligned.
"Football is a passion for a lot of people. So it would bring money into the community — jobs — because the stadium is going to need [workers]," said Geri Sam, as she waited for a takeout order at the Serving Spoon, a local eatery in Inglewood.
At the Starbucks down the street, Ken Horton said a stadium would be great for the local economy.
"I think it’s fantastic. I think it’ll raise my property values, and I think it’s good for the community," Horton said. "And since the Lakers are gone, we don’t have a professional basketball team over there, the race track is gone — it would be great to have a football team over there."
Many residents talked about Inglewood's past disappointments with sports venues — namely, the Lakers moving from the Forum to Staples Center and the decline of the Hollywood Park race track, which eventually closed. Despite this, they said, the city has rallied.
The Forum reopened as a popular concert venue. Metro broke ground on the Crenshaw line. Property values are up, and Inglewood was just named Neighborhood of the Year by Curbed L.A.
"All the gangs are gone. People aren’t scared like they used to be," said Lester Bull. "So I think Inglewood’s prime right now, with all the shops and everything that’s coming in the area."