Los Angeles FC (LAFC) achieved a milestone on Wednesday, when it hosted a dedication ceremony for the brand-new Banc of California Stadium.
One of the more intriguing developments of the 2018 MLS season is expansion club LAFC, and the new facility it is opening. Built on the site of the former Sports Arena, Banc of California Stadium has been anticipated for some time, as its technology, design, premium spaces, and other features could make it one of the more intriguing facilities in MLS.
LAFC is playing a road game at Montreal on Saturday, before returning to Los Angeles to host Seattle Sounders FC in the Banc of California Stadium opener on April 29. While that means that the facility still has to wait for its first MLS match, Wednesday’s festivites gave the organization the opportunity to show off its new home. More from The Los Angeles Times:
“This is like a huge birthday party,” said Peter Guber, the Hollywood executive and producer who, as executive chairman of LAFC’s ownership group, guided the project from concept to reality. “The journey was long and hard and it was arduous.”
The privately financed stadium, the most expensive in MLS history, is the first open-air professional sports venue built in the city of Los Angeles since Dodger Stadium in 1962. Its 22,000 seats begin just 12 feet from the touchline and recede at a 34-degree angle, leaving the top row of the seating bowl 135 feet from the field.
The stadium also features 33 suites, 46 loge boxes and five separate club spaces.
“This has exceeded expectations,” L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose district encompasses the stadium’s Exposition Park home, said at the ceremony . “There’s no way you can come here and not marvel at what has been done in record time.”
The April 29 opener against the Seattle will mark the first of four consecutive home games at Banc of California Stadium, a stretch that runs through LAFC’s matchup against New York City FC on May 13. For more on Banc of California Stadium, check out this preview from our own Jon Bruning.