Los Angeles FC plans USA’s most expensive privately financed soccer stadium

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Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) is planning to construct the USA’s most expensive privately financed soccer stadium on the site of Sports Arena in Exposition Park, downtown LA, making it the first open-air professional sports venue to be built in Los Angeles since Dodger Stadium in 1962.

The US$250m complex, which covers 15 acres, would include a 22,000-seat stadium, designed by LA-based architectural firm Gensler, which will be home to Major League Soccer’s (MLS) newest franchise when it makes its debut in 2018, as well as a conference center, restaurants and a soccer museum.

The project is still to receive approval from the Coliseum Commission and LA City Council and is already US$100m more costly than initial projections suggested, though approval is still expected by July.

An addendum to an existing environmental impact report must also be completed, a process that could take up to a year, while demolition of the 56-year-old Sports Arena and construction of the stadium would take an additional two years, delaying the MLS team’s debut to 2019.

Construction would be financed by the team and its ownership group, which includes: former LA Lakers star Magic Johnson; Mandalay Entertainment chief executive Peter Guber, co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors; self-help author Tony Robbins; and women’s World Cup champion Mia Hamm and her husband Nomar Garciaparra, a former Major League Baseball all-star.

LAFC’s 24-member ownership group paid a league-record US$110m expansion fee to join MLS in October.

May 22, 2015

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