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LA's $5BN Super Stadium

The B1M | 5:09

LA's $5BN Super Stadium

Adam Savage

5 August 2020

Video Views

Video hosted by Fred Mills.

IT’S the most ambitious stadium ever constructed.

Designed like no other and covering almost 300,000 square metres, SoFi Stadium is partly set below ground to avoid the LAX flight path and boasts open sides, a vast canopy roof, shimmering lights and an 80-million-pixel video board.

Easily the most expensive stadium built by mankind to date, the venue will become home to the LA Rams and the Chargers - and is set to host the Olympic Games in 2028.


Above: Set in a 300-acre entertainment complex, the SoFi Stadium would become one of the greatest venues ever conceived (image courtesy of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park). 

When sports mogul Stan Kroenke took control of the St Louis Rams in 2010, he set about bringing the team back to LA.

With a large area of land acquired in Inglewood four years later, the team officially returned in 2016 and temporarily played at the LA Memorial Coliseum, while work to construct their jaw-dropping new home began.

Owned by the Rams, the Chargers would relocate from San Diego and share the ground as tenants.

By almost every metric the building is in a league of its own.

It’s the most expensive venue ever built and the stadium is the largest in the NFL by floor area. There’s almost 300,000 square metres of useable space. The near-70,000 seat capacity can be expanded to 100,000 - and there are 260 luxury suites.

Above: While SoFi’s scale is off the charts, its ground-breaking design is what sets it apart (image courtesy of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park). 

HKS Architects wanted a clean break with the Colosseum-style format that most new stadiums still follow today and devised a unique hybrid approach.

It has all the advantages of an open-sided outdoor venue - with cool air able to flow around the arena - and the protective benefits of an enclosed stadium.

Consisting of the main arena and a separate 6,000-seat performance space, the entire venue sits under a 90,000 square metre ETFE roof canopy suspended by a double cable net support system.

Above: The roof's support system is the largest of its kind in the world (image courtesy of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park).

The use of a specially manufactured white metal for the canopy gives the roof a different appearance depending on your proximity to the stadium and the time of day.

From a distance, the roof appears as one solid piece, but the presence of small holes in the surface up close gives it a more translucent look. And while the canopy shines white in the daytime, it reflects the LA sunset at dusk and teams with colour changing LEDs at night.

At the venue’s heart sits the double-sided Oculus - an 80-million-pixel, 360-degree, 4K display.

Above: SoFi Stadium is home to the largest video board ever created for a sports venue (image courtesy of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park).

Building a super stadium in this particular location came with some serious challenges.

With the site sitting close to LAX, the project team had to adhere to strict height restrictions and engineers set around 30 metres of the venue below ground - ensuring it could be big enough for the Super Bowl, while keeping it low enough to avoid disrupting flight paths.

The stadium also sits next to the Newport-Inglewood fault line. To protect the structure against possible earthquakes, the large columns that hold up the roof are fitted with isolators at either end to absorb seismic energy and prevent damage to the canopy.

Breaking ground in November 2016, record rainfall a year later delayed the stadium’s completion from 2019 to the 2020 season. The stadium found itself at the mercy of external events again in 2020 as the pandemic swept the world.

Above: The venue is now around 97% complete (image courtesy of Drone World).

Originally set to open in July, social distancing measures on the site mean that completion has now been slightly postponed while an inaugural event by Taylor Swift has been cancelled.

Despite these setbacks, the new stadium - with its unparalleled scale, cutting-edge features and trail-blazing design - is about to give LA the world-class venue it’s long waited for.

Add in SoFi Stadium’s planned hosting of the Super Bowl in 2022 and the Olympic Games in 2028, and its status as an icon is almost assured.

Narrated by Fred Mills. Additional footage and images courtesy of Chargers, Drone World, Google Earth, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles Rams, Phillip Kalantzis Cope/CC BY 2.5, Ron Reiring/CC BY 2.0, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park and Tim Case/CC BY-SA 3.0.

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