From the Los Angeles suburban city of Inglewood, a massive translucent roof rises like a wave hovering just above the land and crashing nearly 13 stories high into a park. A park once so gilded with Hollywood stars, the clubhouse pavilion was named after actor Cary Grant.
This new modern and techy structure, SoFi Stadium, is not only home to 2022’s Super Bowl but also the L.A. Rams. Previously home to the once-ubermodern Hollywood Park Racetrack (which closed in 2013 after 75 years), this property holds a lot of California history in its soil.
Hollywood Park first opened in 1938 as the it place to be for Hollywood elite, boasting a private driveway for chauffeured movie stars, VIPs and high rollers to settle in the plush clubhouse Turf Club, designed by architect Stiles O. Clements.
A horse named Valley Lass won the first-ever race but the large purse at the track enticed other winners across the nation, including the infamous Seabiscuit. Southern Californians, equine crowds and Tinseltown alike enjoyed the races throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s.
By the mid-1990s however, even after a $20M facelift, attendance started to dwindle and the luster started to lack. Gone were the starlit regulars and roaring crowds, too. The property was sold to the Bay Meadows Land Company from Churchill Downs for $260M in 2005 and talk of an NFL stadium began to surface.
In 2015, the new 71K-seat stadium started to rise and a novel era of Hollywood took shape, including the likes of Rams receiver Cooper Kupp and corner Jalen Ramsey. In fact, a star-studded roaring crowd is expected to brighten the already brilliant property once again.
“The 300-acre master plan harkens back to the historic racetrack — which closed nearly two decades ago,” said HKS is a recent blog. “Drawing inspiration from the small lakes and fields previously encircled by the track where people picnicked and gathered for 75 years.”
Surrounding the stadium and winding through the walkways is a public park, designed by landscape architecture firm Studio-MLA — making it a different kind of environment for tailgate parties. “This is not your fortress-looking stadium. It’s a community space. It’s a community amenity,” said Kush Parekh, an associate principal at Studio-MLA, in a recent Fast Company article.
By the Numbers
- $5.5B stadium designed by architecture firm HKS
- Largest in the nation at 3M sqft
- Seating for nearly 71K fans
- 4-story, 2-sided elliptical 4K LED screen by Samsung with 80M pixels of color
- 110 decibels of audio from 260 speakers
- 60% of the building sits 100 ft below ground due to LAX flight path restrictions
- Sits on 300 acre mixed-use urban village with 3K units of housing
- First to host Super Bowl in L.A. since 1993
- 5.5-acre stormwater-collecting lake
- 24 acres of park
- Home prices in Inglewood increased nearly 84% since 2016
As expected, the area surrounding the new Hollywood Park community is becoming a real estate hot spot for millennials and investors looking to stay near L.A. but also take advantage of a rare up-and-coming neighborhood. With rents doubling down on wallets as well, residents fear more luxury housing and less affordable housing on the rise — and an increase in gentrification. Pricing out longtime residents is a concern but rent-control ordinances are in place for existing homes and advocates for the community are helping newcomers dance with the old.
On a positive note for homeowners in Inglewood, similar to the horse races of Hollywood Park’s past, home prices (and equity!) sped to an 84% increase finish line since 2016.
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