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NAJEE’S NOTES: New Inglewood stadium partners with Pechanga Casino

On Dec. 17, I had the pleasure of seeing a long-time friend and community leader, Akilah Templeton, at the SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park official announcement of Pechanga Resort Casino as its newest founding partner of the new 70,000-seat stadium and 298-acre development being built by Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

Templeton is the executive director of U.S. Vets of Inglewood, the largest nonprofit provider of comprehensive services to homeless and at-risk veterans. Templeton has done amazing work in helping veterans over the years and has been a tireless voice in advocating on their behalf for years.

Her organization was the beneficiaries of a complimentary shopping experience for 50 homeless and/or at-risk veterans. The veterans received several needed items ahead of the holidays that included blankets, socks, umbrellas, hats and more.

Pechanga Resort Casino sponsored the donations as part of its continuing efforts in Inglewood which echo the millions of dollars the casino/resort has given over the years to the local communities it is involved in throughout the Southern California region.

As a part of this expansive agreement, Pechanga Resort Casino, owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, will be the official California casino partner of the Rams, Chargers, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. Pechanga is the first Southern California-headquartered company to announce a sponsorship with SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.

 “We are thrilled to partner with the Chargers and the Rams, and to be a part of SoFi Stadium,” said tribal Chairman Mark Macarro. “This isn’t just a Los Angeles stadium, it’s a Southern California stadium, and Southern California has always been and will always be our home. We are especially proud to be able to help local students and people in need with the grants we announced today.”

In honor of the holiday season and as a new member of the Inglewood community, Pechanga tribal leadership is donating $100,000 to Morningside High School in Inglewood and the Inglewood chapters of nonprofits School on Wheels and U.S. Vets. That donation was also announced at the stadium site. And I do believe in giving credit where credit is due. I had a big smile on my face as I watched Templeton accept a donation check from Pechanga tribal leaders and dozens of her client were served free refreshments from the food trucks at the event. I also had a chance to meet and interview several executives who are helping Inglewood residents tremendously with their financial donations.

“We are building a global destination that will be the pinnacle of sports and live entertainment,” said Jason Gannon, managing director of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “Pechanga is a company that not only shares Stan Kroenke’s vision to build a world-class facility and fan-first development with Hollywood Park, but also shares our passion for our surrounding communities. When our doors open in July, we look forward to working alongside Pechanga to create memorable guest moments and to give back to our Southern California home.”

Pechanga will have an extensive presence across the stadium, and when SoFi Stadium opens it will feature select Pechanga-branded spaces, including the Pechanga Founders Club. Pechanga Founders Club is a 14,000-square-foot premium club space within the stadium that is located on field level. The space will be creatively branded throughout, and guests will be up close to all the action happening on the field.

“Pechanga’s commitment to serving the community while striving to maintain its reputation as a best in class resort/casino is exactly what you hope for when it comes to a Founding Partner,” said Chargers President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos. “To have someone who competes each day to be the very best within their industry yet understands their place in the community comes with a responsibility to give back — that’s everything you can ask for when it comes to corporate alignment. We couldn’t be happier to welcome Pechanga to the Chargers family.” 

The 3.1 million-square-foot SoFi Stadium is the largest stadium in the NFL, as well as the first indoor-outdoor stadium.

It seats approximately 70,000, expandable up to 100,000, with more than 260 luxury suites and more than 13,000 premium seats. SoFi Stadium has already secured Super Bowl LVI in 2022, the College Football National Championship Game in 2023, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in 2028.

Adjacent to the stadium and sitting under the same roof canopy is the 2.5-acre American Airlines Plaza and a 6,000-seat performance venue. Hollywood Park anticipates an initial phase of more than 1.5 million square feet of retail and office space, 2,500 residences, a hotel and more than 20 acres of parks.

So, if I sound like an advocate for this project it’s because I have a vested interest in its success as we all should. I’m personally commending Pechanga Resort Casino, and SoFI Stadium for being great corporate partners to our community.

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