SoFi Stadium, the site of Sunday’s Super Bowl, could have whimsically been called Sci-Fi Stadium.
Sci-Fi, or science fiction, is often said to inspire a “sense of wonder.” It explores alternatives to present-day society through futuristic and innovative concepts. SoFi Stadium, an unprecedented and awe-inspiring sports and entertainment destination located in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, certainly fulfills those requirements.
It’s also Made in America.
“It was all American steel. The whole bowl of the stadium was all American steel,” said Dieter Klohn, president and CEO of SME Steel Corporation, which guided the construction of the football stadium. “That’s what we do. We are an American company and very proud of it.”
SoFi Stadium is billed as the first indoor-outdoor stadium, constructed with a sweeping, futuristic-looking canopy shell that many observers have said has a gigantic spaceship-like appearance. It looks like an object that could have come out of the sky and landed on a rare unoccupied piece of ground in Los Angeles County.
But on Sunday, the airborne objects flying around the SoFi Stadium football field will be limited to the passes thrown by quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow as the Los Angeles Rams face off against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.
SoFi Stadium is named after Social Finance Inc., a financial technology company that is paying more than $30 million annually over 20 years to put its name on the home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. The privately funded, state-of-the-art stadium, which reportedly has a price tag of $5.5 billion, is owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment. Stan Kroenke is the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Rams.
Located on a 298-acre parcel of land that was once home to the Hollywood Park horse racing track, SoFi Stadium is labeled an indoor-outdoor stadium because the canopy shell that covers the stadium is not attached to the bowl as is traditionally done with indoor stadiums. It is a free-standing roof that is anchored in four separate locations on the outside of the actual stadium structure.
Along with covering the football stadium itself, the sweeping, wave-like canopy also shelters a 6,000-seat concert amphitheater and a 2.5-acre plaza that borders a 6-acre lake complete with waterfalls. When complete, the Hollywood Park Entertainment compound will also include a 25-acre landscaped outdoor park for general public use.
The first Super Bowl to be played in Los Angeles in 29 years will take place in the actual SoFi Stadium building of the massive complex. At first glance, it may appear to have been constructed in a futuristic time and place, but the football venue is truly a modern-day, American innovation.
The bowl, or actual football stadium itself, was constructed with nearly all American manufactured and fabricated steel under the guidance of SME Industries, a West Jordan, Utah steel fabricator with 30 years of experience in the erection of sports stadiums and event venues.
Klohn is proud of SME Steel Corporation’s American-made contribution to such a massive project, which required sourcing of materials from all around the globe, including steel from Nucor-Yamato in Blytheville, Ark. and EVRAZ North America in Portland, Ore.
“We supplied 60,600 tons of structural steel and 12,500 tons for our other product CoreBrace, which are buckling restrained braces that provide seismic stability to the stadium in case of an earthquake,” Klohn said. “We were responsible for all of the structural steel, fabrication and erection.
“We were also responsible for all the miscellaneous metal in what was referred to as the brightwork – the stainless steel for the railings and things associated with the stairs, seating and luxury boxes.”
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