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Friday, Aug 19, 2022
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Using Topography to Build a Lower-Cost Stadium

For most developers, cutting a third of a project’s budget would mean losing some major portions of the development.


Not so, however, for Ed Roski’s proposed football stadium.

Through the use of natural land features, the chief executive of Majestic Realty Co. has put together a proposal to build a stadium that would cost much less than comparable venues.

“By design and by having the right piece of property we can save a considerable amount of money,” he said. “Three-quarters of the building is basically built into a mountain.”

In total, the $800-million development would save about $400 million in steel and related costs by carving the stadium into a hill, which reduces the supporting materials required to build the structure.

Also lowering costs: taking advantage of Southern California’s naturally mild climate and minimal rainfall. That means the stadium won’t need heat and most services will be available outside with other amenities.

And that lower cost is key to Roski’s entire proposal. By saving money on construction and coupling the stadium with a destination retail and entertainment complex, the billionaire has penciled out a proposal that doesn’t require public subsidies.

Past stadium proposals have been tripped up by the needs of developers (and the demands of the NFL) that construction costs be mitigated through public money something that is anathema in Los Angeles.

“We can do it ourselves,” said Roski.

Roski has worked for years on a proposal to build a stadium in City of Industry and will have invested about $4 million in that effort by the end of this year.

John Semcken, vice president of Majestic Realty, said three of the venue’s four sides were built right into the hill.

“On three sides of the building the east side, the north side and the south side there’s no steel,” he said. “It’s just laying seats right on the dirt.”

Not only did this save on steel costs, but he said it will improve the fan experience. That’s because the luxury suites won’t ring the stadium, forcing upper tier seats above the boxes into the virtual stratosphere.

Instead, they will be stacked in one building which will be built on the open side of the stadium, the side that’s not part of the hill. It also means no luxury box owner will be in the undesirable end zones. “Everybody has a suite on the sidelines. There are no suites in bad locations,” Roski said.

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