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Most Expensive Stadium Ever Built Debuts In LA Without Fans

The NFL's largest stadium was unveiled this week without much fanfare to match its scale and sky-high price tag.

Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Los Angeles Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Los Angeles Rams owner and billionaire developer Stan Kroenke held a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday celebrating the opening of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, a 298-acre sports and entertainment development in Los Angeles County privately funded by Rams ownership. The project is estimated to have a $5B price tag and is believed to be the most expensive such venture in history.

The site now becomes the NFL's largest stadium. At 3.1M SF, SoFi Stadium will hold about 70,000 fans with the capacity to host up to 100,000 for special events, including Super Bowl LVI in 2022, the College Football National Championship in 2023 and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Olympics.

It is also the anchor of the Kroenke-developed Hollywood Park, which Kroenke said is the largest mixed-use development under construction on the West Coast. The rest of the mixed-use project will include up to 5M SF of office space, a 500K SF retail district, up to 3,000 housing units and a hotel.

SoFi Stadium

The ceremony, which follows about four years of construction starting in 2016, comes about a week before SoFi Stadium's first event: the Rams hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 13, which, like Tuesday, will also occur without fans.

Both the Rams and the Chargers, who play their first home game the following Sunday, will play at their home stadium without fans in attendance, the organizations announced last month.

“When you see our SoFi Stadium home and the ongoing development surrounding it, you have to marvel at Stan Kroenke’s vision,” Spanos said in a statement. “This is an iconic project, anchored by an iconic stadium, that will not only redefine the City of Inglewood, it will redefine the landscape of greater Los Angeles for the next century and beyond." 

In September, movie theater chain Cinépolis, gym company Olympic Fitness and a brewery/restaurant concept by restaurateur Lynne Weaver were announced as Hollywood Park's first three tenants.

Hollywood Park and SoFi Stadium Managing Director Jason Gannon said then that the first phase of Hollywood Park would open within a year of SoFi Stadium's opening. The owners now say that the first phase, which will include 1.5M SF of retail and office, will open around February 2022. 

California developer Wilson Meany is managing the development of Hollywood Park, with Architects Orange and BCV Architecture + Interiors on board as the executive architect and retail design architect, respectively.