The Grammy’s Grant Program, New Stadiums, and the “American Dream” Mall

The Grammy’s Grant Program, New Stadiums, and the “American Dream” Mall

Size Matters

Momentum is building toward construction of a sports and entertainment stadium at the 34-acre site of Westfield Promenade, a shopping mall in the Warner Center business district development in Woodland Hills, California. The Entertainment and Sports Center, which gained approval from a zoning administrator in July 2019, will have 7,500 seats, half the originally expected mark of 15,000, and much fewer than comparable stadiums in Downtown Los Angeles, like the Staples Center (21,000) and the Forum in Inglewood (17,500). Supporters of the fully enclosed stadium believe it will generate economic growth in the San Fernando Valley, but some locals fear increased crowds will bring pollution, traffic, and parking shortages. The center is a key component of the Promenade 2035 Plan to revitalize the area around the Warner Center by the mid-2030s.

Awarding Human Development

The Grammy Museum’s Grant Program will be music to the ears of 15 recipients. The funds, totaling $200,000, will support music research, sound preservation, and efforts that examine the impact of music on human development. Past grant winners were awarded $5,000–$20,000 for researching links between musical training and autobiographical memory; conducting studies on the relationship between singing accuracy and cognitive function; and digitizing, preserving, and archiving rare interviews with African American performers and composers. Upwards of $7.5M has been funded by the Recording Academy and awarded from the Grammy Museum to 400 recipients through its grant program.

Name of the Game

SoFi secured naming rights to the new home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers for 20 years for $400M. The state-of-the-art stadium opens in Inglewood in 2020 and will cost around $5B. It will host the Rams, which returned to Los Angeles in 2016, and the Chargers, which relocated in 2017, as well as the 2022 Super Bowl and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Olympics. (Currently, the New York Giants and the New York Jets are the only two NFL teams that share a stadium.) SoFi CEO Anthony Noto took the helm of the online personal finance startup—valued at $4.3B—in 2018 and served as the NFL’s chief financial officer from 2008 to 2010.

Dreaming Big

For those near New York City, the “American Dream” now means more than hard work for a better life. A 3-million-square-foot shopping mall by that name opened in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in October and is expected to draw 40M visitors per year. American Dream features more than 450 attractions, including restaurants, shops, services, and entertainment venues. Adding around 110,000 daily visitors to the traffic-congested roads of New Jersey has some concerned, though the economic upside is tantalizing. Development was overseen by Triple Five Group, the owners of Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall, two of the four largest malls in North America. The former draws around 42M visitors annually and generates an estimated $2B for Minnesota.

Westward Ho

The NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers wants to move from Downtown L.A.’s Staples Center, where the club currently shares a home with the Los Angeles Lakers. Owner Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, aims to invest an estimated $100M in an effort to move to Inglewood. The Clippers told Inglewood city manager Artie Fields that up to $75M would go toward low-interest loans for affordable housing in the city and that their “community benefit plan” would be the largest connected to a stadium in the state. Ballmer said the 18,500-seat stadium will cost around $1B and include spaces for community use. Many associate the Staples Center with the Lakers given their historical success. Since the arena’s opening in 1999, it’s hosted seven NBA Finals—all featuring the Lakers. The Clippers’ lease with the Staples Center ends in 2024.