Gensler’s proposal the Los Angeles Football Club’s (LAFC) $250 million stadium complex in South L.A. moved one step closer to becoming a reality this week when the L.A. City Council “unanimously approved” the final Environmental Impact Report for the 22,000 seat stadium project. The sports arena is expected to be the most expensive privately-financed soccer stadium in the country. Like many new urban stadium proposals, LAFC’s stadium is also set to feature sidewalk-adjacent restaurants, office space, a conference area, as well as a soccer museum alongside its more traditional sports programming.
The new stadium for the as-yet-unnamed franchise will replace the outmoded and unloved L.A. Sports Arena, a 1959 Welton Becket-designed, elliptical transverse steel truss roof-clad spaceship of a building. That structure has been the home for the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball teams as well as University of Southern California’s and University of California, Los Angeles’s college basketball teams in the past. It has also hosted concerts by Pink Floyd, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and the Grateful Dead. The L.A. Sports Arena held its final event in March when Bruce Springsteen performed there to a sold-out concert.
Demolition of the L.A. Sports Arena is set to begin in June of this year. The new stadium is expected to open in 2018.