SoFi Stadium: what year was it built and how much did it cost?
SoFi Stadium will be the venue for Super Bowl LVI, as the Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
The Los Angeles Rams will become only the second team in NFL history to play the Super Bowl on home turf, following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year, when they take on the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium on Sunday 13 February.
The Rams are out to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy for only the second time ever, against a Bengals team who have never won the Super Bowl.
'Indoor-outdoor' SoFi Stadium inaugurated in 2020
Having staged the Rams’ NFC conference title win over the San Francisco 49ers at the end of January, SoFi Stadium will be the first to host a Conference Championship Game and the Super Bowl in the same season.
Home to both the Rams and fellow NFL franchise the Los Angeles Chargers, the stadium opened in September 2020, after reportedly costing between $5 billion and $6 billion to build.
Built with open sides and a transparent roof, SoFi Stadium is described as the first ever ‘indoor-outdoor’ arena of its kind. “An open-air design capitalizes on Southern California’s mild climate, allowing visitors to feel as if they are inside and outside at once”, say the stadium’s architects, Dallas-based firm HKS.
“The design encourages wind flow, provides relief from direct sun and protection from rain while maintaining connection to the sky and surrounding nature […]. People who visit SoFi Stadium enjoy cooling ocean winds”. While the roof is not retractable, 46 of its 300 ETFE panels can be opened for further ventilation.
"People can feel these great breezes come across their face"
Speaking to Forbes magazine this month, HKS' Mark Williams insisted the “cooling ocean winds” really have become a hallmark of the SoFi Stadium experience.
"I have had NFL owners tell me that, I have had fans and patrons say that and our client says it actually works,” he said. “People can feel these great breezes come across their face."
SoFi Stadium’s open design, which is rounded off by an exterior shell whose shape is inspired by the coastal waves of the Pacific ocean, also offers spectators views of central LA, as well as the Hollywood sign and the mountains surrounding the city.
Capacity of 70,000 can be increased for big events
Although SoFi Stadium’s regular capacity is approximately 70,000, this can be expanded to around 100,000 for major events such as the Super Bowl.
The arena boasts the “largest video board in sports”, according to HKS - a dual-sided, 70,000-square-foot, 360-degree Samsung infinity screen hanging above the playing field. Meanwhile, LEDs embedded in the roof mean it too can be used to display messages and images.
The 298-acre stadium complex also includes the American Airlines Plaza, a 2.5-acre open space on two levels that serves as a main entrance and a performance venue, and the 6,000-seat YouTube Theater, which hosts events such as concerts and awards ceremonies.
According to the stadium’s website, the complex additionally features “commercial office space, a hotel, residential units, and outdoor park spaces”.
"The best stadium in the world" - LeBron
SoFi Stadium has attracted praise from figures such as Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who said in October last year: “I believe SoFi Stadium is the best stadium in the world. Architecturally, it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever been in.”
Arena to host Olympics opening and closing ceremonies
On top of hosting Super Bowl LVI this month, SoFi Stadium is to be the venue for the College Football Championship Game in 2023, and the opening and closing ceremonies at the LA Summer Olympics in 2028.
It was among the venues that bid to stage games at the 2026 soccer World Cup, which is to be jointly hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico, but was not chosen.