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  • Lloyd Brown

SoFi Stadium – Los Angeles Rams


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43

SoFi Stadium 1001 S. Stadium Dr Inglewood, CA 90301

Los Angeles Rams website SoFi Stadium website

Year Opened: 2020 Capacity: 70,000

 

The Rams Return To A New Home

After a 24-year absence, plus one season played at the Los Angeles Coliseum and another with no fans in the stands, the Rams are back home and so are their fans. They return to a stadium unlike any other. The 5-billion-dollar SoFi Stadium is in the suburb of Inglewood, on the former site of the Hollywood Park Horse Racing Track. The stadium is designed to be the key element in the development of a live/ work/ play neighborhood which will feature condominiums, office buildings, restaurants and retail, a luxury hotel, and twenty-five acres of green space as a well as a transportation hub to serve the residents that live and work around the development. A brewery and casino are slated to be a part of the development down the line.

The stadium has three main components. The football stadium portion can hold 70,240 fans but can be expanded to hold 100,000 seats for major events. The second portion features a 6,000-seat concert and theatre venue called the YouTube Theatre. The third portion is the fan plaza (American Airlines Plaza) which can serve as a pregame gathering spot for fans.

The stadium is shared with the Los Angeles Chargers, making SoFi the second stadium in the NFL to host two teams. MetLife Stadium in New Jersey hosts both the Jets and the Giants.

Food & Beverage 4

The concessions program at SoFi Stadium is known as LA Eats and is divided into four components, each named after a major neighborhood in the Los Angeles area.

Fairfax features subs and deli format of concession offerings. It carries such items as cheeseburger subs ($15), veggie burgers ($12), chicken salad sandwiches ($14), and several types of deli fare. Olivera features Mexican cuisine including bean and cheese burritos ($12) tacos, chips and queso ($7), and beef Barbacoas burritos ($12). San Vicente has a menu that features meatballs ($16), pizza ($12), hot dogs ($8), and Stromboli dogs ($12). Sawtelle features Asian Fusion dishes. These include sesame ginger salads, veggies with miso dip ($8), tsunami tots ($9), and stir-fried chicken sandwiches ($14).

SoFi has a wide range of beverages available at both concessions stands and in brand-specific lounges throughout the stadium. The prices for different categories of adult drinks include craft beers ($17), premium beers ($15), classic beers ($11), hard seltzers ($15), canned wine ($17), and canned cocktails ($15). The stadium carries Pepsi brand products with sodas costing $6.00, Monster energy drinks for $8, and water at $5.

Atmosphere 5

One of the first things you will notice upon entering the seating bowl is the gigantic video screen (known as the Oculus) that covers the entire field. It runs all one hundred yards down both sidelines and across both the end zones. Its projection is visible both on the inside and outside of the video screen, so nobody in the stadium will miss a minute of the action. This 360-degree screen, known as the Infinity screen, is unlike any other video board found in a US stadium.

Another element of interest to fans attending the games is the EFTE fiber roof that covers the field. This allows the games to go despite stormy weather as well as hot and humid conditions. The air conditioning of the stadium is purely natural, as SoFi Stadium has openings beneath its EFTE roof that allow breezes through the stadium to keep the fans cool throughout the game.

The stadium is taller than most people realize in that it is built down into the ground. The stadium has ten levels of seating with one entire level devoted the more than 250 suites in the facility.

The roof serves to contain the noise within the stadium. It can get very loud when the Rams score or put up an impressive defensive stand.

Neighborhood 2

SoFi Stadium is in Inglewood, a Los Angeles suburb near LAX Airport. The entire SoFi Stadium development is designed as a redevelopment project to spur the area surrounding the stadium to be upgraded. At present, the portion of Inglewood surrounding the stadium consists of budget hotels, fast food restaurants, and aging apartment buildings. In addition to bringing new development to the area, it is also hoped that the stadium project will create new jobs in the area, where many of the residents live at the poverty level.

The only attractions of note near the SoFi project are the Hollywood Park Casino and the LA Forum, the former home of the LA Lakers and the LA Kings. It has been converted into a highly successful concert venue, with more than 17,000 seats. The nearest mid to upscale lodging in the area is concentrated near LAX Airport, which is about four miles from Inglewood.

The neighborhood will change dramatically as the construction of office buildings, hotels, restaurants, and retail sites are completed as part of the stadium site main plan, so look for this score to rise dramatically over the next few years. In addition, the Los Angeles Clippers are constructing their new arena across Century Boulevard from SoFi, with a 2024 opening scheduled.

Fans 3

Of the two Los Angeles based NFL franchises, the Rams have a much more established identity with local fans. This is because the Rams played in L.A. for decades before they relocated to St. Louis, while the Chargers were a San Diego staple until SoFi Stadium opened. This means that the celebrity fanbase of the Rams runs much deeper, so you are much more likely to see a famous face in the crowd at a Rams game. You will also see many older fans at Rams games as most Angelenos remember when they were the original and established team in the area and may be former season ticket owners from the original franchise.

The crowds at Rams games are much more laid back than you would find in places like Pittsburgh, Chicago, or Cleveland. Football games are a social event in Los Angeles, with far fewer football fanatics in the stands. The energy level during a game is much lower than you would expect. This may be due to the city getting reacquainted with the team after a long separation, or it may be that the ticket prices may exceed what a blue-collar fan can afford.

Access 3

Anytime you think of Los Angeles, you think about its terrific issues concerning traffic throughout the city. This is especially true as main arteries like Century Boulevard and South Prairie clog with traffic in the hours that lead up to the game. The lots immediately surrounding the stadium are all set aside for season ticket holders and start at $50 per game. You can find smaller businesses in the area that sell spaces in their lots at varying prices. The rule of thumb is that the closer the parking is to the stadium the higher the parking costs.

SoFi Stadium is close to two major LA interstates. From I-405 (San Diego Freeway): Exit at either Manchester or Century Blvd. and head east. From I-105 (Century Freeway): Exit at Prairie or Crenshaw and head north.

To offset these traffic woes, the City of Inglewood has set up off-site parking areas that have shuttle busses that run in between the parking lots and the stadium for only $4 dollars roundtrip. This takes some of the gridlock away from the stadium and gets you there quicker.

One other suggestion to get to the game on time is to use public transit. You would park in an outlying area and take the Metro C light rail line to the Hawthorne/Lennox Station. Shuttle busses then provide roundtrip service to the stadium both before and after the games. For more detailed information go to www.metro.net.

The rideshare pick-up and drop-off area is located at the LA Forum.

*It is a good idea to arrive at the stadium early, as all fans must pass through a COVID screening station before entering the venue. Proof of vaccination or a negative test for COVID is required for entry. This is a requirement put in place by the state of California for any venue holding large gatherings. Masks must be worn in the stadium, except when eating or drinking.

Return on Investment 3

Attending either a Rams or Chargers game is going to be very expensive once you add up all the costs, as Los Angeles is a very pricy area to live in. SoFi Stadium utilizes a variable pricing model when selling tickets. Games against a divisional opponent or an attractive non-divisional opponent will be more expensive than games outside the division or against an uninspiring team. Even with this model in place, the lowest ticket price available for a game starts at $80. Hotels in the area start at $160 per night. Parking in stadium lots begins at $50 per game. Food and beverage prices will exceed more than $10 for any item other than sodas, popcorn, and a plain hot dog.

Extras 4

A majority of the seating bowl at the stadium is below ground level due to the stadium’s proximity to LAX airport, which is only three miles away. The stadium’s roof is embedded with thousands of LED lights which can project marketing messages or holiday good wishes to flyers just before they land.

SoFi Stadium already has booked some of the top sporting events in the world early in the venue’s existence. It will host Super Bowl LVI in February 2022, the College Football Playoff National Championship game in 2023 and will serve as the site for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games. It has also put in a bid to serve as one of the American stadiums to host a game during the 2026 World Cup soccer games.

The staff at SoFi Stadium strictly enforce the “wait for the whistle” policy, which keeps people from climbing over people on their row when plays are underway on the field.

The team store at SoFi Stadium is named the Equipment Room. It sells both Rams and Chargers merchandise, as well as SoFi Stadium-branded items.

Final Thoughts

The NFL has returned to Tinseltown with a stadium worthy of a Hollywood production. Palm trees, a lake, a super-sized video board, and a major studio budget to build the stadium make SoFi Stadium a stadium unlike any other in the NFL. The Rams have gotten off to a great start in their return to the West Coast. The stadium has already lined up most of the sports world’s top games in the next five years, and the well-heeled fans in Los Angeles seem to be willing to pay the higher than usual prices charged to enjoy a Sunday afternoon of football.

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