NFL preseason football: Raiders visit Massive LA’s SoFi Stadium, other half of stadium, odd couple with Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas
By Alan Snel from LVSportsBiz.com
If Raiders owner Mark Davis wanted the design of the Allegiant Stadium to have the feel of a sleek sports car, then SoFi Stadium has the awe-inspiring girth of a modern and powerful NASCAR motorhome, complete with ‘equipment.
LVSportsBiz.com first visited the $ 5 billion, 70,000-seat SoFi Stadium on Saturday for the Raiders-Rams preseason game and found the NFL home reach for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers Los Angeles is much bigger than any sports venue in this country.
At 3.1 million square feet, SoFi Stadium is the largest stadium in the National Football League, said Jason Gannon, general manager of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “The 300 acres of the site gave us a lot to play with,” Gannon told LVSportsBiz.com in an interview ahead of the Raiders-Rams exhibition game tonight.
The eight-tier SoFi stadium offers plenty of seating options, as well as an indoor and outdoor feel for fans. About 53,000 fans saw the Rams and Chargers play a week ago – the first time NFL fans got to experience the stadium after no fans attended games inside the hall spacious a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HKS Architects of Dallas designed the stadium as part of a larger 298-acre redevelopment of the old Hollywood Park racetrack south of I-10 and east of 405 in Los Angeles. The redevelopment of Rams owner Stan Kroenke includes commercial and commercial development, as well as a 6,000-seat YouTube theater. The redevelopment also includes 25 acres of parkland, the 450,000 square foot NFL building, 300 apartments and 500,000 square feet of retail.
By the way, Kroenke also owns the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL and the Denver Nuggets in the NBA.
In contrast, the Raiders Stadium footprint is 62 acres, less than a quarter the size of the Kroenke redevelopment project. The Lakers’ former home, the Forum, is near the SoFi Stadium. Keep in mind that the NBA Los Angeles Clippers are building their new arena nearby and will eventually leave Staples Center in downtown LA to be a neighbor of the NFL Rams and Chargers.
It’s hard to watch an NFL game in this building without looking at the monster-sized oval scoreboard hanging above the field. This is part of the 90,000 square feet of LED display action inside the venue. And above the giant oval screen is the see-through roof that easily covers the bowl and playing surface as well as the pedestrian plaza outside the playing action.
Both Allegiant and SoFi Stadiums opened in 2020 to no fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, LVSportsBiz.com made a comparison and contrast of this odd couple of NFL stadiums. The SoFi stadium was completed within the July / August 2020 deadline, Gannon said.
Before the Raiders cashed in big with Southern Nevada’s $ 750 million state grant for the Raiders’ $ 2 billion stadium project, the team actually took a look at Los Angeles. – again. The Raiders played in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1994 and are very popular in Southern California. Indeed, many LA Metro Raiders fans made the four-hour drive along Interstate15 to see the Allegiant Stadium construction site before the site opened in late July 2020.
While the construction of the Allegiant Stadium has been subsidized, Groenke is privately funding the redevelopment project, which includes the SoFi stadium.
An interesting architectural feature of the SoFi stadium is its indoor-outdoor feel, with both ends of the stadium open while plenty of natural light filters through the roof. Frank Lloyd Wright would appreciate the indoor / outdoor look of SoFi Stadium. Top bowl features outdoor space in the middle of concessions and outlets, allowing fans to watch a game on the pitch and feel like an indoor game, while being outside in the concessions area in the upper bowl.
For the grandeur of the stadium, there are also many aesthetic touches – the exterior suite areas, the fountains outside of level six, and the numerous exterior staircases to complement the escalators.
“Having indoors-outdoors is popular here in LA,” Gannon said. “It’s embracing life in Southern California.”
The eight-level structure of the Sofi Stadium extends outward more than the 65,000-seat domed Allegiant Stadium, which gives a more vertical feel to its venue.
Returning to Allegiant Stadium in Stamford, Connecticut, WWE hosts SummerSlam, one of its four major annual events. Fans of the WWE event tweeted that the POS system is down at Allegiant Stadium, which is a cashless venue. So the concession stands were handing out free water and soda, but no food, a fan told LVSportsBiz.
In the coming years, SoFi Stdium will also be busy. Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has purchased the naming rights to the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, while the Super Bowl is slated for SoFi Stadium in February 2022. WWE Wrestlemania is slated for 2023 and the stadium will host the national college football championship in 2023 In 2028, the opening and closing ceremonies of the Summer Olympics will also take place at SoFi Stadium.
The Rams reported that there were 68,834 tickets handed out for tonight’s game.
Like Allegiant Stadium, SoFi Stadium is also working to improve communications with fans to know where to park and train stadium employees so they can better help fans. Many struggled to find their designated parking areas.
“Opening anything is a challenge,” Gannon said. “It’s a big building and there is a lot to know.