Game Changer

Gensler-designed soccer stadium in California brings fans close to the game

Architecture Open West
Gensler-designed soccer stadium in California brings fans close to the game. The stadium is set in Los Angeles. (Jon SooHoo)
Gensler-designed soccer stadium in California brings fans close to the game. The stadium is set in Los Angeles. (Jon SooHoo)

The new Gensler-designed Banc of California Stadium opened for its inaugural Major League Soccer season in late April, ushering in Los Angeles’s first new open-air sports and entertainment venue since the debut of Dodgers Stadium in 1962. The 22,000-seat arena is designed with intimacy in mind: No seat in the stadium is farther than 135 feet from the field, with those closest sitting just 12 feet from the action. The arrangement of steeply raked seating and close proximity to the game is meant to create a closer connection between players and fans in the manner of European-style gameplay, according to Gensler.

The buoyant-looking complex is built on a concrete base and is topped by slender, 45-foot-tall steel section canopies. Draped between these structural elements are 190,000 square feet of translucent ETFE fabric to provide cover from L.A.’s sometimes brutal sun while still allowing enough sunlight through so that grass can grow on the pitch. The complex—chock-full of pedestrian-oriented plazas, viewing and celebration terraces, and restaurants—connects directly to newly landscaped areas designed by Studio-MLA.

Banc of California Stadium
3939 S Figueroa Street
Los Angeles
Tel: 323-648-6060
Architect: Gensler

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