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Finance company buys naming rights to new stadium

INGLEWOOD — The football stadium that is the centerpiece of the Hollywood Park sports and entertainment district has finally been named. 

SoFi, a digital personal finance company, has entered into a 20-year agreement with the LA Stadium and Entertainment District for the exclusive naming rights of the stadium, which will be known a SoFi Stadium. The final terms of the deal were not announced.

And in a separate development, the first tenants of the new complex have been announced. They will be an Inglewood-based beer garden/brewpub, a Long Beach-based fitness gym and an internationally based luxury cinema complex.

Inglewood-based Three Weavers Brewing Co. will operate a 20,000-square-foot beer garden and brewpub, Long Beach-based Olympix Fitness will operate a 21,000-square-foot fitness center and Cinepolis will operate a 12-screen state-of-the-art movie theater complex.

“At Hollywood Park, we are developing a new city in the heart of the greater Los Angeles region where people from all across the world will come together,” said Jason Gannon, managing director of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “We are thrilled to welcome Lynne Weaver, Olympix Fitness and Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas, and all of their employees, patrons, members and fans, to Hollywood Park.”

“These three groups embody the mix of local businesses and global brands that will make Hollywood Park a unique destination,” Gannon said.

Scheduled to opening next summer, SoFi Stadium will hold year-round sports and entertainment events. It already has been awarded the rights to host Super Bowl LVI in 2022, the College Football National Championship game in 2023, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.

The $5 billion entertainment complex anchored by SoFi Stadium covers 298 acres at the former site of the Hollywood Park racetrack.

The development will be more than a football stadium. It is expected to have 2,500 residences, a hotel, more than 20 acres of parks and more than 1.5 million square feet of retail and office space, featuring restaurants and shopping. 

Developers said community partnerships and programs will be announced in the coming months, leading up to the opening of the stadium.

According to the city of Inglewood, which is in the midst of completing an agreement with the Clippers Arena in Inglewood on a $100 million community benefits package centered around money for affordable housing and youth and education initiatives, the football stadium and entertainment district has only pledged approximately $14 million in community benefits. 

However, community advocates have long considered SoFi Stadium and the surrounding entertainment development as the central catalyst to rising property values and subsequently the rising price of rent in Inglewood. 

The continued sentiment questions who the new luxury amenities are being built for and if community benefits like jobs and youth and education programs will be enough to balance the gentrification of Inglewood. 

Meanwhile, SoFi is excited to partner with the LA Stadium and Entertainment District.

“We’re thrilled to be introducing SoFi Stadium to the world, through our partnership with Hollywood Park,” said Anthony Noto, CEO of SoFi. “This is a giant leap toward achieving our company’s mission of helping people get their money right by reaching our members where they are. 

“The partnership with this transformative project taking shape under Stan Kroenke’s leadership is the perfect opportunity to drive awareness and trust in the SoFi brand as we continue to grow and reach members on a national level,” Noto added.

“It would be impossible to build a stadium and entertainment district of this magnitude without incredible and innovative partners who share our ambitions for Los Angeles, our fans worldwide and the National Football League,” said Los Angeles Rams Owner and Chairman Stan Kroenke. “Since breaking ground at Hollywood Park, more than 12,000 people have worked side-by-side on this project, and we are proud to now have SoFi join us on this journey as we prepare to open in the summer of 2020.”

“SoFi’s commitment to disrupting the status quo within its own industry and becoming a leading innovator in financial services makes them the ideal naming rights partner for our new home,” Chargers President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos said.

SoFi Stadium will have a seating capacity of approximately 70,000, expandable up to 100,000, with 260 luxury suites, more than 13,000 premium seats, and more than three million square feet of usable space.

It will be the largest stadium in the NFL and will be the first indoor-outdoor stadium.

It is scheduled to be open for the start of the 2020 NFL season.

By John W. Davis

Contributing Writer