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'F**k gentrification': LA Rams and Chargers' new home, $2.6B SoFi Stadium in Inglewood sparks fury among locals

A whole new neighborhood with shops, restaurants, a hotel, parks, an artificial lake and 2,500 housing units is a part of the plan
UPDATED JUL 30, 2020

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA: It's a dream come true for sports buffs. Plans for a billion-dollar arena complex were given a green light on July 28 after Inglewood’s City Council voted unanimously to approve the environmental impact report for the project. Seven months after the report was released, officials said the 28-acre Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Complex would bring traffic and jobs to the intersection of West Century Boulevard and South Prairie Avenue.

According to Los Angeles Times, local groups had expressed concerns over gentrification and opposed the 18,000-seat Clippers Arena and NFL's nearby SoFi Stadium development. However, the report ruled it out and revealed that the $1.2B arena complex proposal for the Steve Ballmer-owned NBA team will be designed by AECOM.

Murphy’s Bowl LLC, a Clippers-controlled company backing the privately financed project, hopes to begun construction by mid-2021 and get the 18,000-seat arena set for the 2024-25 NBA season. Ballmer thanked Inglewood Mayor James T Butts Jr, the council and city staffers for committing $100M in community benefits toward Inglewood. 

The $2.6B SoFi Stadium — which will officially be the home of Los Angeles Rams and Chargers — is all set to open in July, according to the Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park. A whole new neighborhood with shops, restaurants, a hotel, parks, an artificial lake and 2,500 housing units is a part of the plan.

Owner Steve Ballmer of the Los Angeles Clippers (Getty Images)

A video of an artificial lake in Inglewood was posted on Twitter July 29 and it left many social media users stunned. Bringing it to the attention of the National Football League (NFL) and Los Angeles Rams, a tweet read: "Ladies and gentlemen the home of my Los Angeles @RamsNFL. Yes, that is an artificial lake right in front of the stadium...@NFL," and it soon garnered more than 500 likes and retweets." The tweet sparked much fury on the Internet and people slammed gentrification of the entire community. The influx of more affluent avenues at a particular spot has been a controversial topic in political terms and this time around, it ignited much rage on social media.

"F**K THE MAYOR!! F**K THE RAMS!! AND F**K YOUR CAPITALISM DESTROYING THE LIVES OF FOLKS IN INGLEWOOD!!!" one tweet read and another said, "How can someone do this in Inglewood but ignore the thousands of homeless on the streets." One Twitter user even wrote: "All this means I'm about to be priced out of my own neighbourhood." Another said, "This is nothing to be glorified. In case y’all forgot, long-time residents of Inglewood have been pushed out of their own home city because of the growing gentrification of a city that took years for Black and Brown individuals and families to regain."

Angry Twitter users slammed the move. "If I hear anyone talking about how cool the stadium is in Inglewood I’m gonna lose it. Our rents are getting higher and all you want is a f***ing sports area? Our schools are also underfunded, so there’s truly no point to have this," one said and another posted, "I want to be a Rams fan because well, you know, LA, home team and what not... But what they’re doing in Inglewood is sick. The gentrification of neighborhoods all across America is a disease."

Construction at SoFi Stadium continues amidst the Covid-19 pandemic on March 31, 2020, in Inglewood, California (Getty Images)

Shedding light on how it will affect multiple lives, one Twitter user said, "So Inglewood got a new NFL stadium and a lake. Now the rent is gonna go up and black and brown people are not going to be able to afford it and they gonna have to go and live somewhere else. I’m so tired of them trying to gentrify cities where black and brown people live." Another said, "The city of Inglewood can allow them to come in there and build a stadium and a lake but can’t get workers to come fix the roads and put more money into the city's education system."

Recounting how the consequences were already in place, one posted, "They offered my cousin $2 million for his house in Inglewood and he not even that close to the stadium." Pointing out how it happened in Oakland too, one said, "Same thing happening in Inglewood is the same that happened in my city Oakland. All over The Bay tbh. Same happened to NY. Look at Brooklyn. F**K gentrification! Give us our home back!! #America."

"Just because the city didn't fund that stupid a** stadium doesn't mean that abomination isn't a problem. That stadium is doing nothing but costing everyone around it to suffer. Open your f***ing eyes people and stop sucking d**k to watch a glorified game of catch #Inglewood," one tweet read and another said, "The clippers GM is trying to get the clippers a stadium and they want it in Inglewood and we have to fight back and say NO!!!! Let them go build a stadium somewhere were the residence can afford it."