Inside SoFi Stadium’s Innovative Design
Unlike any stadium anywhere, SoFi Stadium reflects the finest aspects of life in Southern California with a true indoor-outdoor experience and boundary-pushing design.
“Our mission was to create the best version of an outdoor stadium that we could.” – Lance Evans, RA, HKS Principal
Part of the 300-acre Hollywood Park mixed-use development in Inglewood, CA, SoFi Stadium is the NFL’s largest at 3.1 million square feet. Designed by HKS, the stadium combines Southern California’s indoor/outdoor lifestyle with state-of-the-art sports and entertainment architecture.
Open-Air and Below Ground
SoFi Stadium sits directly in the flight path of Los Angeles International Airport, located just three miles away. Designers placed the stadium 100 feet below ground to adhere to strict Federal Aviation Administration height restrictions. It also provides airline passengers with a breathtaking view as they approach landing.
What The Fans See
Open concourses and landscaped canyons draw visitors into the stadium, which has approximately 70,000 fixed seats and can expand to accommodate up to 100,000 guests with removable seating. The stadium’s club spaces, suites and concourse areas that extend as far down as the field provide a diverse array of opportunities for fans to engage with the NFL experience, whether first-time visitor or season-ticket holder.
An open-air design capitalizes on Southern California’s mild climate, allowing visitors to feel as if they are inside and outside at once. The design encourages wind flow, provides relief from direct sun and protection from rain while maintaining connection to the sky and surrounding nature. Whether they’re walking through the wide concourses or catching the action from their seats, people who visit SoFi Stadium enjoy cooling ocean winds that make attending events in the LA heat feel like a breeze.
Infinity Screen by Samsung
The first dual-sided 4K LED display system, the Infinity Screen by Samsung is the largest in sports, suspended above the playing field and visible from every seat. The largest video board in sports, the Samsung Infinity Screen is 70,000 square feet, displays 80 million pixels and weighs 2.2 million pounds.
“I believe SoFi Stadium is the best stadium in the world. Architecturally, it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever been in.” – Lebron James
“There is no comparison. SoFi [Stadium] is above and beyond what anyone could imagine.” – Mike Pugrad, Los Angeles Rams Fan
“For the fans and surrounding area, it’s a source of pride.” – Terry Dulan, Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen, Inglewood, CA
“Not one bad seat, just really well-designed stadium.” – Bee Maeda, Los Angeles Rams Fan
A Structural Marvel
The building’s monumental exterior shell and roof structure has a distinct form reminiscent of Pacific coastal waves that wash ashore just over five miles away. The stadium’s porous canopy is comprised of more than 35,000 anodized aluminum panels, with each panel conforming to the geometry in a way that no two are the same.
HKS’ Laboratory for INtensive Exploration (LINE) developed a custom computational tool that could handle the panels’ complex geometry and generate a massive digital model. The City of Inglewood accepted a stamped and sealed digital Model of Record in lieu of paper drawings, establishing the first instance in the United States of a Model of Record being allowed for permitting an architectural project. This process ensured construction accuracy and helped the project come in under budget and ahead of schedule.
“Delivering a digital model allowed us to achieve exactly what we wanted from a design perspective rather than trying to explain that in two dimensional drawings that would be re-interpreted.” – Heath May, AIA, HKS Principal
Three Venues Under One Roof
Three interconnected venues — all housed under the massive roof — can host simultaneous events that don’t disrupt one another. A concert at YouTube Theater, a Rams or Chargers game at SoFi Stadium and a watch party at American Airlines Plaza can occur at the same time, making Hollywood Park an integrated entertainment destination.
SoFi Stadium does not have exterior walls. Instead, the long-span cable roof structure anchors to the ground in four locations. The roof, bowl and concourses were sculpted to evoke an outdoor venue while providing the flexibility of a traditional domed stadium.
American Airlines Plaza
The roof canopy covers American Airlines Plaza, a 3-acre multipurpose outdoor event space. Visitors can gather for events free from obstructed views while the ocean breeze circulates to keep them comfortable.
YouTube Theater is Hollywood Park’s only fully enclosed indoor space. The theater brings world-class performance design and entertainment technology together in an intimate venue.
The entire building is engineered to withstand seismic events. The roof is detached from other components, meaning the stadium bowl, Youtube Theater and American Airlines Plaza can independently move in response to shifts in the Inglewood seismic fault line.
Made of single layer ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE), the fritted roof is comprised of more than 300 panels. 46 of the 300 panels can be opened to take advantage of prevailing winds without the need for air conditioning. ETFE reduces solar heat gain and allows natural light to flood into the stadium and nearby plaza.
ETFE was also used on HKS-designed U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis
A Bird’s-Eye View
An LED system embedded in the ETFE panels projects video without sacrificing transparency inside the stadium. Live feeds can be seen from the air by passengers traveling in and out of LAX.
“We want the first-time fan that comes to SoFi Stadium to be blown away by what they see, hear, and experience. Hopefully we’ve created something that will become one of the next storied elements of Southern California.” – Lance Evans, RA, HKS Principal
A New Community and Entertainment Destination
Within a few hours’ drive of Inglewood, Californians can visit the beach, the mountains, and the densest metropolitan area in the United States. Inspired by the unique local climate and geography, Hollywood Park features climate-adaptive landscape architecture, including a 6-acre lake and network of green spaces.
SoFi Stadium: An Ecosystem Fit for a Super Bowl Ring
With 25 acres of open public space and year-round events, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park will boost overall tourism revenue for the City of Inglewood and the Los Angeles area. Beyond Super Bowl LVI, events slated for the venue include the College Football Championship Game in 2023, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in 2028. As the world’s first true indoor/outdoor stadium — where visitors are immersed in the Southern California lifestyle — SoFi Stadium is the ultimate entertainment destination in the greater Los Angeles area.
HKS Design Team:
Mark A. Williams, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C (Principal in Charge), Kevin Taylor, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (Principal Project Manager), Jay Caddell, AIA, LEED AP (Project Manager), Lance Evans, RA (Design Principal), Greg Walston (Lead Project Coordinator), Chad Scheckel, AIA (Senior Construction Administrator), Mike Rogers, AIA (Senior Designer), Anice Stephens, AIA (Senior Project Architect), Bryan Mounger, AIA, LEED AP (Senior Project Architect), Michelle Stevenson, RA, LEED AP BD+C (Senior Project Architect), Niel Prunier, AIA (Senior Project Architect), Morgan Newman, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, RID (Project Architect), Manzer Mirkar, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP (Project Architect), LaKendra Clark (Job Captain), Mark Timm, IIDA, RID (Senior Interior Design Project Manager), Katy Cagle, IIDA, LEED AP (Interior Designer), Amanda Trimble, IIDA, ASID, RID (Interior Designer), James Warton (Senior Computational Designer), Sean Huynh (Construction Administrator), Steve Bayne, AIA (Senior Construction Administrator), Scott Hunter, FAIA, LEED AP (Principal Project Director), Heath May, AIA (Senior Designer)