Los Angeles FC unveils new stadium, delays MLS start

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The expansion franchise will be based in a 22,000-seat stadium on the site of the old LA Sports Arena.

Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) will begin play in MLS a year later than planned but with a brand new stadium to call its home.

A high-powered ownership group featuring former LA Lakers star Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, ex-USA women's international Mia Hamm and Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan unveiled plans on Monday for a 22,000-seat stadium to open in 2018 in southern Los Angeles.

The $250million development on the site of the old LA Sports Arena will also include restaurants, a conference center and a soccer museum.

"Los Angeles is a city famed for its creativity and innovation," Peter Guber, LAFC's executive chairman, said in a press release. 

"In that tradition we look forward to building a premier club, in a state-of-the-art stadium, delivering a state-of-the-heart experience, and bringing the world’s game to the City of Angels."

The Los Angeles area has had an MLS team since the league's inception in 1996, but the Galaxy has played its home games at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the StubHub center in Carson - both venues outside the city proper.

Chivas USA also called the Carson stadium its home during its 10-year MLS stint before ceasing operations at the end of the 2014 season.

LAFC were originally set to make their MLS debut in 2017 after being named as an expansion club last season but the team will now wait a year to get its stadium project on line.

It is unclear if that change will affect MLS's overall expansion timeline.

In addition to LAFC, a new Atlanta team also was slated to join the league for the 2017 season, and Minnesota United was set to move up from the second-tier NASL in 2018 with the completion of its own soccer-specific stadium.

 

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