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  • Writer's pictureAaron S. Terry

SoFi Stadium – Los Angeles Rams





Photos by Aaron S. Terry, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71

SoFi Stadium 1001 Stadium Dr Inglewood, CA 90301

Year Opened: 2020 Capacity: 70,240

 

The NFL’s newest Jewel

SoFi Stadium, home of both the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers and the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, reportedly cost $5.5 billion to build, almost three times what the previous NFL record holder, Allegiant Stadium, cost.  The stadium has a unique design in being sort of an open-air stadium with a roof, and even has a water feature, but given how much it cost to build, unfortunately disappoints in some areas, namely in terms of its access and concessions.

 

Food & Beverage   4

SoFi Stadium has a host of concessions options, ranging from pizza and Italian sandwiches to burgers, hot dogs, chicken strips and sandwiches, burritos, nachos, and tacos, as well as snacks and desserts such as cheesecake, churro bites, Italian custard, cookies, and brownies.


There are also several full bar areas and plenty of beer, wine, soda, and bottled water, but nothing in the way of a wow factor, such as a unique item you can’t find at any other stadium. The concession stands also look overly uniform – all share the same color scheme, font, and design – making it difficult to find what you are looking for without walking around and reaching each stand’s menu.  The different levels also all appear to have the same options.


Concessions prices are on the high side, as you might expect from a pro stadium (think $9 for a hot dog with no sides or $6 for a bottle of water). The food is quite tasty, however – I recommend the cheeseburger, and the souvenir soda is a good deal at $8, coming in a cool reflective cup you can take home (but no free refills).


Note that there are also plenty of street vendors on the grounds around the facility, selling hot dogs, beer, and soda as you walk up to the entrance – I saw plenty of fans partaking in these even after the game was over.

 

Atmosphere   3

The stadium looks cool from the outside, but despite how it looks, is open a little to the elements, meaning during night games it gets a little cool inside, and I was told it can get hot inside during day games. I also heard that if you sit up in the 400 or 500 level, be careful where you sit, as the sun can get in your eyes if you sit on the wrong side – not something I expected from what looks like an indoor stadium.


The Rams do a great job pulling out all the stops for fans, however – they have activities such as face painting for the kids, as well as special amenities like football tosses on the concourse for season ticket holders.  The most recent game I attended was during the holidays, and the staff laid out Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa decorations to cover all bases. There is also plenty of Rams signage and décor around, giving the venue great pops of blue and yellow color, including huge twin banners (big enough to see as you walk up to the venue) showcasing the Rams two Superbowl victories.


The team takes the field amid a haze of smoke and with flags flying, and the huge circular videoboard around the ceiling gives every fan the ability to easily see replays, stats, and the action on the field – the videoboard is close to eye level for those in the 300s, but may prove a distraction for those in the 400s and 500s.



Neighborhood   3

SoFi Stadium is a few miles east of LAX airport, and thus near myriad hotels at all different price levels, if you are planning to stay the weekend. However, being mostly surrounded by parking areas, there are not a lot of attractions or restaurants in the area, although there are a few mostly fast-food places a few blocks south of the venue; In-N-Out Burger and Pollo Loco (chicken) are popular chains in California.


Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood are about 10 miles north-northeast of the stadium, where you can find most of the amenities the area is best known for.

 

Fans   5

The Los Angeles Rams have a stellar fan base – you can tell they missed their team during its long sojourn in St. Louis. The fans here during Rams games are loud and vocal, and most of them are wearing team gear, including a mix of older jerseys as well as those of newer players. Even during a disappointing season, you will see the seats mostly full, and tickets will be sold out, forcing you to scrounge around on third-party sites for tickets (more on that later).

 

Access   3

Getting to SoFi Stadium itself is not that bad – the location is far enough from LA city center that there isn’t too much traffic, and you won’t have to wait too long to get out after the game (I was only “stuck” in traffic for about 10 or 15 minutes before I hit smooth sailing).


However, the parking is a little problematic – some lots won’t sell you parking at the gate even though the signs say credit cards are accepted, and the cheaper lots are of course a longer walk from the stadium. Also, almost all the parking near the venue is controlled by the team, so you won’t find any parking at local businesses, etc. unless you walk a long distance.


Getting around the stadium once inside is similarly problematic – SoFi Stadium has 9 different levels, but there aren’t enough ways to move between them. Most fans use the escalators, but there aren’t enough of these and they are not together – for example, to get from the “main” 300 level where you enter the stadium to the 100 level, you have to walk partway around the stadium, take one escalator down to the 200 level, and then walk partway around the stadium AGAIN to find another escalator to take you down to the 100 level. You can’t take the stairs, either, as they only have exits on the 300 level – if you walk down them to the 100 or 200 level the door will be locked. There are also not enough elevators, so the wait for them is very long.



The seats themselves are all chairbacks but are too narrow for the average person.

 

Return on Investment   3

Attending a Rams game is pricey – seats in the 100 level, even during a losing season, will cost at least $200 each including all the fees, and tickets in the nosebleeds will likely be $75 or more. The closest parking runs $120 and must be purchased in advance, and the concessions can easily run $25 or $30 per person for a main dish, side, and drink. The fans and the amenities help make the experience enjoyable, but for the uncomfortable seats, potentially too hot or too cool temperature indoors, and the high cost, this may not be a bucket list item for fans.


Extras   5

The Rams do offer a ton of amenities to try and make games at SoFi a great time for fans – features include halftime performances by the likes of Busta Rhymes, a Mariachi band, a giant inflatable Rams helmet and Porsche painted in Rams décor, a pregame DJ, a country-shaped US flag during the National Anthem, team gear stores on every level, TVs everywhere so you don’t miss the action while getting food, a garden area, covered escalators to protect fans from the elements, and plenty of seating and standing areas for fans who would rather not sit in their assigned seats; all of these add to the experience at SoFi Stadium.


 

Final Thoughts

The NFL’s newest stadium represents a pricey proposition but certainly comes with a lot of bells and whistles for fans to enjoy. If you plan ahead in terms of seating, parking, and perhaps eating before the game, you can save yourself a little hassle, and perhaps a little green as well.

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