Top officials associated with the project, including Rams owner and billionaire real estate developer Stan Kroenke, Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts held a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate SoFi Stadium. In a pre-recorded video message for the ceremony, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell thanked Kroenke for spearheading the project.
“When we laid down our expectations for the NFL to return to Los Angeles, we said we would need an iconic two-team stadium and an adjacent entertainment district, and Stan, you have delivered on all of that and more,” Goodell said. “The NFL can’t wait to move our West Coast headquarters to Hollywood Park next year and be part of this unprecedented project.”
Construction on SoFi Stadium began in late 2016 and is believed to be the most expensive sports arena of its kind in history, with a price tag estimated at $5 billion. The project was privately funded by Rams ownership. Originally slated to open in 2019, constructed was delayed by a full year after heavy rainfall interrupted planned work at the site of the former Hollywood Park racetrack.
SoFi Stadium will host its first-ever event this Sunday, when the Rams kick off their 2020 season with a home game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Chargers will play their first regular-season game at SoFi Stadium the following Sunday when they host the Kansas City Chiefs.
Both teams will begin play this season without fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
SoFi Stadium was built to accommodate 70,000 football fans at games and up to 100,000 people at special events. The facility will host Super Bowl LVI in 2022.
"We are in the team business, and you can't get to a moment like today without a great team. I would like to thank the 17,000 people who have worked on this project over the past four years," Kroenke said in a statement. "During a period of unrest and change in many parts of the country, it's been our deepest privilege to work on a project this special with such a diverse workforce. Thank you for making our vision a reality."
SoFi Stadium is one of two NFL arenas opening this season. The Las Vegas Raiders will begin play at $1.8 billion Allegiant Stadium on Sept. 21.