SoFi Stadium 85% Complete Ahead Of Scheduled Late July Opening
SoFi Stadium builders said that the venue is 85% complete, but "finishing touches will take up much of the construction horde's remaining time" before the Inglewood venue opens in late July, according to Greg Beacham of the AP. Rams Exec VP & COO Kevin Demoff said, "Everybody here feels confident about the timeline and how it will come together. There's been no indication to us that there's been any slippage." The Rams and Chargers will take advantage of the stadium's "late-summer concerts and their own preseason games to work out any quirks or adjustments before the regular season begins." The structure of a 6,000-seat amphitheater "nestled under the extended arm of the oversized stadium roof also appears to be firmly in place." The 298-acre Hollywood Park development surrounding the stadium will "take longer to complete, although construction is already underway on the 450,000-square-foot building that will house NFL Media" beginning in '21. Crews also are "currently building the stadium's translucent roof, with roughly 40% of the panels already in place" (AP, 1/23).
IMPRESSIVE DESIGN: In L.A., David Wharton writes one aspect of SoFi Stadium that "impresses design experts" is its "three distinct structures -- the retaining wall lining the giant pit, the bowl and a vast canopy overhead." Crews have begun completing the roof, "installing transparent ETFE panels on crisscrossed steel cables" above the stadium. Once completed, the roof "will be open to ocean breezes around its edges," as designers "wanted to give fans a sensation of being outdoors while still protecting them from the elements." USC School of Architecture Associate Professor Alvin Huang said, "They're going against the historic convention of stadium design where it is a closed roof or a retractable roof. The span of that canopy is unreal." He added, "You will literally have millions of people looking at it from above. The roof not only becomes an architectural signature, it also becomes a branding signature." Wharton notes exterior LED lights will "project images across the membrane, creating a vast movie screen." Because the venue is "halfway underground, SoFi Stadium isn't as visually intrusive as it might have been." While it "doesn't seem as massive" as AT&T Stadium, from a distance, SoFi Stadium "looks like an alien craft touching down beside the Forum" (L.A. TIMES, 1/23).
COST OF BUSINESS: In L.A., Kevin Modesti notes SoFi Stadium Managing Dir Jason Gannon "declined to comment on reports that the cost of the stadium has ballooned" to about $5B, up from the original price tag of $1.86B, later revised to $2.4B. Demoff did acknowledge a "cost overrun and spun it as evidence" that Rams Owner Stan Kroenke has "spared no expense" on the privately financed development. Demoff said that the "added costs won't be passed along to fans" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 1/23). Demoff also said that the Rams "are 'pacing' toward selling all of their seat licenses before Week 1, but tickets are still available at basically every price point." ESPN.com's Alden Gonzalez noted season-ticket sales are "tracking similarly to the past couple of offseasons, which Demoff considered a source of encouragement" (ESPN.com, 1/22).