Over the past decade, the National Football League added four new stadiums for the New York Jets/Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, and Atlanta Falcons.
In 2020, two more state-of-the-art venues will open their doors – Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada and SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The latter will be the new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. The sister franchises of L.A. will join the Jets and Giants as the only NFL teams to share a venue.
Since relocating 120 miles north from San Diego to the City of Angeles in 2017, the Chargers have played their home games at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The 17-year-old venue primarily functions as a soccer stadium with a capacity of 27,000 fans – the fewest in the NFL. One year prior, the Rams relocated back to L.A. from St. Louis and have since played their games at the nearly century-old Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Now, the future of both franchises will unfold in Inglewood.
Here are the quick facts to know about the soon-to-be home of the Rams and Chargers.
1. Finance Company ‘SoFi’ Paid Record-Setting Naming Rights Fee
According to Bloomberg, San Francisco-based financial technology startup company Social Finance, Inc. – or ‘SoFi’ – secured a 20-year stadium naming rights bid worth approximately $30 million annually. The total is the highest ever for a naming rights deal on a sports venue.
SoFi was not the first major sponsor to attach their name to the shiny spectacle. On August 6, 2019, American Airlines was announced as the first founding partner, receiving the naming rights to the plaza between the stadium’s playing field and the performance venue.
2. Construction is Expected to Be Completed in Summer 2020
The LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park (LASED) complex is located on the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack (demolished back in 2015) and features nearly three million square feet of usable space. The uniquely-designed roof will feature more than 300 ETFE panels supported by a cable netting system.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the 70,240-seat stadium (expandable up to 100,000) was held on November 17, 2016 and featured an appearance from NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell. The venue was initially expected to be opened for the 2019 NFL season, however, record rainfall totals in 2017 delayed the opening one year.
3. The Total Cost is Expected to Reach $5 Billion
As valuations of NFL franchises and their owners continue an upward trend, so do the prices for a new, modern sports complex. Upon completion, the Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas will hold the title of ‘Most expensive stadium in the NFL’ with construction costs of approximately $2 billion. That is, until LASED opens for business.
Originally, the cost of the project was estimated close to $4 billion. However, in March 2019, NFL owners voted to increase the debt limit even higher.
The final tab for SoFi Stadium, which is being privately financed and built by Rams Owner/Chairman Stan Kroenke, is expected to reach the $5 billion mark – more than double the next closest venue.
4. The 298-Acre Complex Also Includes Retail, Residence
Rather than only hosting 10-12 football games per year, NFL owners and stadium financers have shifted their focus to turning stadiums into year-round attractions. Notable examples include New England’s Patriot Place shopping center and Green Bay’s Titletown District.
According to the official LASED website, “the village will include two million square feet of Class A commercial space, 2,500 modern residences, a 70,000 seat National Football League (NFL) stadium, 6,000 seat performing arts venue, and 25 acres of public parks.”
5. The Stadium Will Host Super Bowl LVI in 2022
As has become commonplace for many of the NFL’s latest venues, SoFi Stadium will have the opportunity to flash its prominence on the league’s biggest stage. On February 6, 2022, Super Bowl LVI will be played in L.A., marking the first time the area will host the NFL’s championship in nearly 30 years. The last occurrence came in 1993 when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl.
In addition, the indoor-outdoor facility will also play host to the 2023 College Football National Championship Game and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Olympic Games. Despite its football prevalence, neither the Rams or Chargers will be the first to break in the new grounds. The stadium will initially open its doors to the public for a pair of Taylor Swift concerts on July 25-26, 2020. The pop star will become the first woman to ever open an NFL stadium.
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