INGLEWOOD, CALIF. — When the Los Angeles Rams play the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night, the spotlight will be on a massive rookie making its long-awaited NFL debut.
SoFi Stadium, the new, 3.1-million square foot home of the Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, will host an NFL game for the first time since its recent completion.
The indoor-outdoor stadium is the centerpiece of a 300-acre development that’s still under construction and is expected to cost about $5 billion. Here are some things you should know about the stadium:
Referring to so-called Oculus as scoreboard is like referring to Moby Dick as a fish. The two-sided video board, center hung from the stadium’s roof, weighs more than two million pounds. That’s about 800,000 pounds heavier than the Dallas Cowboys’ video board at AT&T Stadium. So, yeah, not everything is bigger in Texas.
No reason to worry about the Oculus falling either, said architect Lance Evans of HKS, the firm that designed the stadium.
“It’s suspended with belts and suspenders is what you might say,’’ Evans explained.
Planes bound for nearby Los Angeles International Airport regularly fly over SoFi Stadium every few minutes the roof buffers the noise. The bigger issue for stadium was safety. FAA regulations dictated the stadium floor be built 100 feet beneath the surface — twice as deep any other stadium in the world.
The architects say throwing passes from 100 feet below the earth’s surface should be no more challenging for Rams quarterback Jared Goff.
A general overall view of SoFi Stadium. (Photo: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)
“We didn’t make Jared Goff a better or worse passer,’’ said Mark Williams, a Principal and Business Development Director for Sports at HKS.
LOOK, THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN!
You will be able to see it from SoFi Stadium on a clear day, and the upper concourse offers the most spectacular views. The San Gabriel Mountains to the north, downtown Los Angeles to the east and Palos Verdes Peninsula to the south. And the Hollywood sign to the north east.
“Anything that was in the way, that would traditionally block you from (seeing) the seating bowl or block you from the outside view, we’ve minimized it,’’ Williams said. “Eliminated it, minimized it or designed it so you can see through it.’’
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Even on a hot day, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to feel the breeze blowing through the open sides of the indoor-outdoor stadium. It’s not an accident.
A climate expert with HKS reviewed 100 years of climatic reports, which informed the design of the building, said Williams of HKS.
“Now, if it’s 100 degrees out, if it’s hot, it’s hot,’’ Williams said. “But it’ll feel better inside and the climate will be leveraged inside of this indoor-outdoor venue.’’
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DISTINCTIVE LOCKER ROOMS
If you find yourself in a locker room and you’re not sure you’re in the right one, just look up.
In one, you will find an abstract ceiling design featuring a Rams horn. (Yes, you are in the Rams’ locker room.) In the other, you will find an abstract ceiling design in the shape of a lightning bolt. (Yes, you’re Chargers’ locker room.)
When you look at the aluminum paneling on the stadium roof and see different colors, it’s not a hallucinogenic experience. Here’s what is happening: The primary surface of the architectural face is comprised of a white, anodized aluminum, which picks up the reflections and colors throughout the day. Orange hues. Pink hues. Red and lavender too.
HERE COMES THE BRIDE
It would probably help if you to know Rams owner Stan Kroenke, but you can hold your wedding on SoFi’s artificial turf.
“it could be at midfield,’’ Williams of HKS said. “We purposely took the three million square feet and figured out how to make the spaces within that scalable so that 5,000 people can come an have their event an enjoy the building. Weddings will happen here.’’
The transparent roof will do more than protect spectators from rain. There are 16 massive panels that can be opened for ventilation purposes.
“They are really the mechanisms to help control patron comfort in the building,’’ Williams said. “That’s really the point of those panels. It was all about how to create the most comfortable outdoor stadium in existence and I think that’s what we’ve achieved.’’
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