SoFi Stadium
SoFi Stadium.png
Sofi Lastadiumjune2019.jpg
Stadium under construction in June, 2019
Location: W. Century Blvd and
S. Prairie Ave
Inglewood, California
U.S. Flag.png United States
Coordinates: 33.95345°N 118.3392°W
Owner: Hollywood Park Land Company,
City of Inglewood
Operator: Hollywood Park Land Company,
City of Inglewood
Stadium type Dome
Roof type ETFE Glass
Surface: Artificial Turf
Capacity: 70,240
Construction information
Broke ground: November 17, 2016
Opened: 2020 (planned)
$ 4.9 billion
Architect: HKS Inc.
Los Angeles Rams (NFL) (2020)
Los Angeles Chargers (NFL) (2020)
Field design

SoFi Stadium,[1] formerly Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, is an ETFE roof–covered stadium and entertainment complex under construction in Inglewood, California. It is located at the former site of the Hollywood Park Racetrack, approximately three miles (5 km) from Los Angeles International Airport, immediately southeast of The Forum.

Planned to open in 2020, the stadium will serve as the home to the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). It is also scheduled to host Super Bowl LVI in February 2022 and the College Football Playoff National Championship in January 2023. During the 2028 Summer Olympics, the stadium is expected to host the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as soccer. Archery will be held on the grounds outside the stadium.

SoFi Stadium will be the third stadium, and second to be in current use, since the 1970 AFL–NFL merger to be shared by two NFL teams (MetLife Stadium, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, is home to the New York Giants and New York Jets, as was its predecessor, Giants Stadium). It will be the fourth facility in the Los Angeles area to host multiple teams from the same league as Staples Center is home to both of the city's National Basketball Association (NBA) teams, the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, Dignity Health Sports Park for a time hosted both the LA Galaxy and now-defunct Chivas USA of Major League Soccer, and Dodger Stadium hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels from 1962 to 1965.

The stadium is a component of Hollywood Park, a master planned neighborhood in development on the site of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack. Hollywood Park Casino opened in October 2016, becoming the first establishment to open on the property.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Hollywood Park Racetrack[edit | edit source]

The stadium site was previously home to Hollywood Park, later sold and referred to as Betfair Hollywood Park, which was a thoroughbred race course from 1938 until it was shut down for racing and training in December 2013. The casino remained open, containing a poker card room. Most of the complex was demolished in 2014 to make way for new construction with the rest demolished in late 2016 after the new Hollywood Park Casino was opened. The current stadium project was not the first stadium proposed for the site. The site was almost home to a NFL stadium two decades earlier. In May 1995 after the departure of the Rams for St. Louis, the National Football League team owners approved, by a 27-1 vote with two abstentions, a resolution supporting a plan to build a $200 million, privately funded stadium on property owned by Hollywood Park for the Los Angeles Raiders. Al Davis, who was then the Raiders owner, balked and refused the deal over a stipulation that he would have had to accept a second team at the stadium.[3]

2014: Location discussions[edit | edit source]

On January 31, 2014, the Los Angeles Times reported that Stan Kroenke, owner of the St. Louis Rams, purchased a 60-acre parcel of land just north of the Hollywood Park site in an area that had been studied by the National Football League in the past and at one point attempted to purchase.[4] This set off immediate speculation as to what Kroenke's intentions were for the site: it was originally planned to be a Walmart Supercenter; however, in 2014, most of the speculation centered on the site as a possible stadium site or training facility for the Rams.[5] NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell represented that Kroenke informed the league of the purchase. As an NFL owner, any purchase of land in which a potential stadium could be built must be disclosed to the league. Speculation about the Rams' returning to their home of nearly fifty years had already been discussed when Kroenke was one of the finalists in bidding for ownership in the Los Angeles Dodgers, but speculation increased when the news broke that the Rams owner had a possible stadium site in hand.[6][7]

2015[edit | edit source]

File:Former Hollywood Park Racetrack site (cropped).JPG

2015 aerial view of former racetrack and complex site, with the Downtown Los Angeles skyline in background.

Nearly a year went by without a word from Kroenke about his intentions for the land, as he failed to ever address the St. Louis media, or the Hollywood Park Land Company, about what the site may be used for. There was, however, speculation about the future of the Rams franchise until it was reported that the National Football League would not be allowing any franchise relocation for the 2015 season.[8]

Construction and design[edit | edit source]

On January 5, 2015, Stockbridge Capital Group, the owners of the Hollywood Park Land Company, announced that it had partnered with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment to add the northern 60-acre parcel to the rest of the development project and build a multi-purpose 70,240-seat stadium designed for the NFL.[9] The project will include the stadium of seating capacity up to 100,240 (including standing room-only seats), an ETFE roof with digital advertising and a performance arts venue attached to the stadium up to 6,000 seats while reconfiguring the previously approved Hollywood Park entertainment venue that includes plans for up to 900,000 square feet of retail, 800,000 square feet of office space, 2,500 new residential and condo units, a luxury hotel with over 300 rooms and 25 acres of public parks, playgrounds, open space, a lake and pedestrian, bicycle and mass-transit access for future services. The stadium would be ready by 2019. On February 24, 2015, the Inglewood City Council approved the stadium plan and the initiative with construction on the stadium planned to begin in December 2015.[4][10]

On February 24, 2015, the Inglewood City Council approved plans with a 5–0 unanimous vote to combine the 60-acre plot of land with the larger Hollywood Park development and rezone the area to include sports and entertainment capabilities. This essentially cleared the way for developers to begin construction on the venue as planned in December 2015.[11][12][13]

It was also reported, in early February 2015, that "earth was being moved" and the site was being graded to be prepared for the construction that would begin later in the year.[14]

Timeline[edit | edit source]

2016[edit | edit source]

File:LA Inglewood Rams Future Location.jpg

2016 aerial view of the stadium construction site, adjacent to The Forum. The new Hollywood Park Casino is in the foreground.

The NFL approved the Inglewood proposal and the Rams' relocation back to Los Angeles, 30–2, on January 12, 2016. On July 14, 2016, it was announced that Turner Construction and AECOM Hunt would oversee construction of the stadium and that the HKS, Inc. architect firm will design the stadium.[15]

On October 19, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) determined that a 110-foot-tall LB 44 rotary drill rig would not pose a hazard to air navigation, so it approved the first of several pieces of heavy equipment to be used during construction. The stadium design had been under review by the FAA for more than a year because of concerns about how the structure would interact with radar at nearby Los Angeles International Airport.[16] On December 16, 2016, it was reported in Sports Business Journal that the FAA had declined to issue permits for cranes needed to build the structure. "We’re not going to evaluate any crane applications until our concerns with the overall project are resolved," said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor.[17] The FAA had previously recommended building the stadium at another site due to the risks posed to LAX—echoing concerns raised by former United States Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.[18]

The Rams held the groundbreaking construction ceremony at the stadium site on November 17, 2016. The ceremony featured NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Rams' owner Stan Kroenke.[19][20]

On December 23, 2016, the FAA approved the large construction cranes to build the stadium.[21]

2017[edit | edit source]

File:September 2017 aerial view of the construction site of the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park.jpg

September 2017 aerial view of the construction site

On May 18, 2017, developers announced that record rainfall in the area had postponed the stadium's completion and opening from 2019 to until the 2020 NFL season.[22][23]

On August 8, 2017, the LA Stadium Premiere Center in Playa Vista opened as a place for suite buyers and season ticket holders to preview the stadium. The center contains a massive replica model of the stadium, giving potential buyers a preview of what they can expect when the stadium opens.[24][25][26]

2018[edit | edit source]

File:LA Stadium Inglewood.jpg

SoFi Stadium under construction in November 2018.

The NFL announced that NFL Media will move to a 200,000 square feet space on the Hollywood Park campus next to SoFi Stadium from its current facility in Culver City around mid 2021. In addition to office and studio space, the new facility also will feature NFL Media's first outdoor studio and studio space to host live audiences.[27]

On June 26, 2018, the stadium reached 40% completion. The project "topped out" which is a construction term used to signify that the highest steel beam on the stadium has been put into place.

2019[edit | edit source]

As of August 2019, one year before the planned opening, Rams C.O.O. Kevin Demoff stated the stadium is 75% complete.[28] In September 2019, it was announced that singer Taylor Swift would host "Lover Fest West" at SoFi Stadium to mark its opening day on July 25, 2020.[29]

Naming[edit | edit source]

On May 30, 2019, it was reported that SoFi (Social Finance) was negotiating a naming rights deal for the stadium.[30] On September 15, 2019, Los Angeles Rams' owner, Stan Kroenke, had announced that he had agreed to officially grant naming rights. The sponsorship deal is worth over $30 million per year over 20 years, a record for a sports venue naming rights contract. [31][32] The company will become an official partner of both the Rams and the Chargers football teams, as well as a partner of the performance venue and surrounding entertainment district.[33]

The covered "open space" formerly known as “Champions Plaza” between the playing field and the performance venue within the stadium was officially named American Airlines Plaza. The airline was named the first founding partner on August 6, 2019.[34]

Funding[edit | edit source]

The stadium is being built privately,[35] but the developer is seeking significant tax breaks from Inglewood.[36]

The cost of the stadium project was originally estimated to be approximately $2.66 billion upon the commencement of construction. However, internal league documents produced by the NFL in March 2018 indicated a need to raise the debt ceiling for the stadium and facility to a total of $4.963 billion, making it one of the most expensive sports and entertainment venues ever built. Team owners voted and approved this new debt ceiling at a meeting that same month.[37]

Tenants and events[edit | edit source]

The Los Angeles Rams were first to commit to moving to the stadium, as NFL approval for their relocation was obtained on January 12, 2016. The approval also gave the San Diego Chargers the first option to relocate to Los Angeles and share the stadium with the Rams, conditioned on a negotiated lease agreement between the two teams. The option would have expired on January 15, 2017, at which time the Oakland Raiders would have acquired the same option.[38]

On January 29, 2016, the Rams and Chargers came to an agreement in principle to share the stadium. The Chargers would contribute a $200 million stadium loan from the NFL and personal seat license fees to the construction costs and would pay $1 per year in rent to the Rams.[39] The same day, Chargers chairman-CEO Dean Spanos announced the team would remain in San Diego for the 2016 NFL season, while continuing to work with local government on a new stadium.[40] Measure C (the Chargers stadium proposal) did not receive the requisite number of votes required for passage.

On January 12, 2017, the Chargers exercised their option and announced plans to relocate to Los Angeles for the 2017 season, making the Chargers the second tenant at the stadium and returning them to the market where they played their inaugural season in 1960.[41][42]

When the Rams and Chargers move into the stadium, projected for August 2020, it will mark the return of major professional sports to Inglewood for the first time since the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings left The Forum for Staples Center in May 1999.

NFL[edit | edit source]

Super Bowl LVI[edit | edit source]

The stadium will host Super Bowl LVI in February 2022.[43] It was initially to host Super Bowl LV in 2021, but construction delays mentioned above have pushed back the Super Bowl hosting duties by one year (NFL owners voted to move Super Bowl LV to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida).

College football[edit | edit source]

Bowl Game[edit | edit source]

Beginning in 2020, the stadium will host a postseason bowl game between a team from the Pac-12 Conference and the Mountain West Conference.

2023 College Football Playoff National Championship[edit | edit source]

On November 1, 2017, it was announced that the stadium will host the 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship.[44]

Association football[edit | edit source]

2026 FIFA World Cup[edit | edit source]

A local bid for Los Angeles in the 2026 FIFA World Cup was organized by private businesses led by AEG with assistance from the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment District Commission (SoFi Stadium), LAFC, the LA Galaxy, and Rose Bowl Stadium. The Los Angeles City Council approved the bid after private businesses showed support and offered to pay hosting costs.[45] The SoFi Stadium was not selected as a bidding venue in the winning Canada–Mexico–United States bid because the organizing committee left unbuilt venues out of its final evaluations.[46] The United Bid committee stated they would re-evaluate the stadium selection process and re-visit SoFi Stadium as their main option stadium in the Los Angeles Metro area in June 2020.[47] The American bid to host the World Cup was awarded by FIFA on June 13, 2018.[45]

2028 Summer Olympics[edit | edit source]

Sofi Stadium at Hollywood Park is expected to host the main opening ceremony during the 2028 Summer Olympics. Los Angeles organizers proposed a opening ceremony dual-venue format. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will co-host the closing ceremony and all Track and Field events.[48] The stadium will also host Archery and soccer matches.[49]

Other events[edit | edit source]

The stadium also allows other potential NFL opportunities on the complex such as an NFL, MLS, NCAA Football retail store, the NFL Honors ceremony, NFL Films premieres, other NFL-themed events, a West Coast wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and NFL-themed hotels.[50]

Hollywood Park[edit | edit source]

The surrounding development around the stadium will include the new Hollywood Park entertainment complex and master planned neighborhood with over Template:Convert/e6sqft for office space and condominiums, a 12-screen Cinepolis movie theater, ballrooms, outdoor spaces for community programming, retail, a fitness center, a lake with a waterfall fountain, a luxury hotel, a brewery, high-scale restaurants and an open-air shopping and entertainment center.[51] There will also be team stores for the Chargers and Rams.[50] The first new establishment to open service on the site was the new Hollywood Park Casino, which opened on October 21, 2016.[2]

Performance Venue[edit | edit source]

The stadium will also include a performance and theatre venue that will be attached to the stadium. The auditorium venue will have a capacity of 6,000 seats.

NFL Media Campus[edit | edit source]

The campus will become the new home of NFL Media which is currently based in Culver City. The NFL will develop a 200,000 square foot space to house office operations for hundreds of employees that work for, the NFL app and NFL RedZone. It will also be the new site for the NFL Network headquarters. In addition to office and studio space, the facility also will feature NFL Media's first outdoor studio and space to host studio audiences. The new NFL Media studio campus is expected to open by the summer of 2021.[27]

Transportation[edit | edit source]

Public transit[edit | edit source]

The stadium will be accessible through Metro Rail via Crenshaw/LAX Line which is set to open in 2020.[52]

Other stadium proposals[edit | edit source]

The SoFi Stadium project plan competed directly with a rival proposal. On February 19, 2015, the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers announced plans for a privately financed $1.85 billion stadium that the two teams would build in Carson if they were to move to the Los Angeles market. Both teams stated that they would continue to attempt to get stadiums built in their respective cities.[53]

On April 21, 2015, Carson City Council bypassed the option to put the stadium to a public vote and approved the plan 3–0.[54] The NFL approved the Rams' relocation on January 12, 2016, with 30 of the 32 owners voting their approval to relocate, effectively ending the Carson proposal.[55]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. SoFi Stadium.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hollywood Park Casino's Grand Opening Oct. 21 - Poker News.
  3. Springer, Steve. "The day Al Davis walked away", ESPN, September 23, 2011. Retrieved on May 19, 2017. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wagoner, Nick (February 1, 2014). St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke buys 60 acres of land in Los Angeles. ESPN. Retrieved on June 10, 2015.
  5. Reed, Scott M.. "Will Stan Kroenke bring the Rams west?", November 9, 2014. 
  6. Ozanian, Mike (January 26, 2012). Kroenke's Bid For Dodgers Implies Rams Are Headed To L.A.. Forbes.
  7. Farmer, Sam. "A return of L.A. Rams? Owner is said to buy possible stadium site", January 30, 2014. Retrieved on June 10, 2015. 
  8. Schwab, Frank (December 20, 2014). No NFL team moving to Los Angeles for 2015, report says. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved on June 10, 2015.
  9. Campbell, Robert (2015). Text of the Measure - City of Champions Revitalization Project. Champions Initiative. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved on June 10, 2015.
  10. Piper, Brandie. "Report: Rams owner bought 60 acres of land in Calif", KSDK, January 31, 2014. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. 
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  12. Crabtree, Curtis (February 25, 2015). Inglewood unanimously approves stadium plan at Hollywood Park. NBC Sports. Retrieved on June 10, 2015.
  13. "Inglewood council approves NFL stadium plan amid big community support", February 24, 2015. Retrieved on October 5, 2015. 
  14. Florio, Mike (February 8, 2015). Inglewood stadium construction begins, sort of. NBC Sports.
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  16. Fenno, Nathan. "Excavation for the Rams' stadium could begin in just weeks", October 19, 2016. Retrieved on November 10, 2016. 
  17. Florio, Mike (December 12, 2016). FAA Declines to Allow Cranes at Inglewood Construction Site. NBC Sports. Retrieved on January 12, 2017.
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  20. Gonzalez, Alden (November 11, 2016). Rams to Break Ground on $2.6 Billion Inglewood Stadium Thursday. ESPN. Retrieved on May 19, 2017.
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  29. Welk, Brian. "Taylor Swift to Open New NFL Stadium in Los Angeles", The Wrap, September 17, 2019. 
  30. Ozanian, Mike. "Why the Los Angeles Rams' $400 Million Stadium Deal With SoFi Seems Bizarre", May 30, 2019. 
  31. "New home of the Los Angeles Rams officially named SoFi Stadium", NFL Enterprises, LLC, September 15, 2019. 
  32. "Billionaire Kroenke Gets Record Naming Rights Fee From SoFi", September 15, 2019. 
  33. Rooney, Kate (2019-09-15). Finance start-up SoFi strikes deal to put its name on new LA stadium for the Rams and Chargers (in en).
  34. Markazi, Arash. "American Airlines secures naming rights for plaza at NFL stadium in Inglewood", August 6, 2019. 
  35. Clarke, Liz. "The Rams' $5 billion stadium complex is bigger than Disneyland. It might be perfect for L.A.", January 26, 2019. Retrieved on January 27, 2019. 
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  37. Brinson, Will. "NFL Reportedly Raising Debt Limit on Rams Stadium after L.A. Project nears $5B Price Tag", March 27, 2018. Retrieved on March 27, 2018. 
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  39. "Chargers here for a year -- then what?", January 29, 2016. Retrieved on January 30, 2016. 
  40. Wesseling, Chris. "Chargers announce they will stay in San Diego for 2016", National Football League, January 29, 2016. 
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  46. Template:Cite press release
  47. Baxter, Kevin (March 15, 2018). Los Angeles moves one step closer to hosting some 2026 World Cup games. Retrieved on June 14, 2018.
  48. Wharton, David. "L.A. Organizers Propose Linked, Simultaneous Olympic Ceremonies for Coliseum, Inglewood Stadium", January 16, 2017. Retrieved on August 25, 2017. 
  49. Stage 3 Candidature Questionnaire. LA2024. Retrieved on September 30, 2019.
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  51. Green, Nick. "Could a new light rail line connect Torrance with the NFL stadium in Inglewood?", January 27, 2016. Retrieved on February 1, 2016. 
  52. Error on call to template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified (November 16.”, 2018).
  53. Farmer, Sam. "Chargers, Raiders will jointly pursue an NFL stadium in Carson", February 20, 2015. Retrieved on November 10, 2016. 
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  55. "NFL will return to Los Angeles for 2016 season", January 13, 2016. Retrieved on November 10, 2016. 

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