STADIUM DUDE’S NFL STADIUM RANK: #2
- Located: Inglewood, CA
- Opened: 2020
- Capacity: 70,240
- Weather: n/a (indoors)
- Games Attended: 3
- Last visited: 2022
It’s amazing what money can do.
SoFi Stadium is pure “Wow”. The gleaming new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers finally opened to the public in 2021, 5 years and $5.5 billion after breaking ground. It is one of the most expensive buildings ever erected on the planet, and has a “Oooh Factor” that modern architecture often lacks.
A Stunningly-Beautiful Facility. Football’s best.
The place truly is gorgeous. The exterior roof, the seating bowl and the retaining walls are all separate structures to protect it in case of earthquake. The crystal ETFE roof provides UV protection while letting outside sunlight shine in. The place was build with sustainability in mind
SoFi comes with a large swath of California Cool. It’s indoor-outdoor living at scale. If you’re in the upper deck, there are nice views of the hills from the seats. There’s always a ton of natural light. You don’t feel like you’re in a dome, but you never have to worry about getting sunburned. It’s the best of both worlds.
The most amazing feature is the cutting-edge, ovular, double-sided 4K HDR video board. This 80-million-pixel Oculus is bananas and rivals the Jerry World screen for the best in North American pro sports. Get there early and watch the ends of the earlier games. The stadium’s 260-speaker audio system pumps out incredible sound, and the place has more than fifty 5G wireless antennas to give you better internet connection than you do at home. Seating is spacious with good leg room, cup holders, and great sight lines.
A neutral-site game vibe
Unlike the NFL’s other shared venue facility, SoFi doesn’t look markably different depending on the home team because both LA teams share a similar color plate. As was the case in their previous homes, there are a lot of visiting fans at LA football games, thus mitigating home field advantage somewhat. In fairness, the Rams crowd is more pro-Rams and can get loud, but right now at Charger games, the visiting fans are still outnumbering the “home” fans by a wide margin. This makes for a weird experience.
Working through operational growing pains
Concessions are expensive and lines can be long, though wait times were better in 2022 than when they opened in 2021. Parking can be a real pain. It’s crazy expensive even by NFL standards (in part because options other than driving are still limited), and the post-game exits feel like a free for-all. If you’ve ponied up for a spot in the tailgate lot, you can wait out the crowds with some food, drink and games. Otherwise, you can easily find yourself in a 45-to-60 minute exit jam which can really detract from the physical magnificence of this place. And physically magnificent it is.
Five+ billion dollars bought LA football fans a ton of “Wow”. It’s hard to imagine how a stadium could be much nicer.