EXPOSITION PARK (CBSLA) — After much anticipation, the ribbon was officially cut Wednesday to mark the completion of Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park, the new home of the Los Angeles Football Club of Major League Soccer.
Team owners Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Mia Hamm-Garciaparra and Nomar Garciaparra were among those attending the ceremonial event, along with MLS Commissioner Don Garber and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The new stadium seats 22,000 people and will have an intimate atmosphere, with seats just 12 feet away from the sideline.
“The North End” Supporters Section features what the team describes as the first safe standing rail seats in North America, allowing fans to stand shoulder-to-shoulder.
“Rarely can you say this has exceeded expectations. It exceeded expectations,” said LAFC executive director Peter Guber. “When you go and you walk through it and you look at it, you can’t help but say, ‘Wow, I want to be here.’ And that’s the very purpose of this building, for the city to be here.”
L.A.’s newest stadium, which is on the former site of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, has been under construction for 20 months.
The Banc of California Stadium is the first open-air stadium to be built in L.A. since the completion of Dodger Stadium in 1962.
The project, which includes a large public plaza, restaurants, LAFC retail store and a conference and events center, cost $350 million.
In addition to LAFC games, the stadium will be used to host concerts.
Music will ring through the stadium beginning June 2 with the pop music festival Wango Tango.
The stadium will also be the site for soccer in the 2028 Olympics.
LAFC will play its first game at the stadium on April 29 against Seattle Sounders FC.