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Report: LAFC to construct stadium in Exposition Park; club’s debut pushed back to 2018

Los Angeles FC

photo courtesy of Los Angeles FC

By RYAN TOLMICH

Los Angeles FC has reportedly found a home.

The LA Times reported Sunday that LAFC has selected the Sports Arena site in Exposition Park to house the club’s privately-financed stadium. The $250-million complex will cover 15 acres and will be situated near the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

As a result, the club’s debut would be pushed back until 2018 to make up for time needed to demolish the 52-year-old Sports Arena and construct the new stadium.

The club, which tweeted an rendering of the stadium on Sunday, is expected to formally announce the move on Monday.

The 22,000-seat arena will still need approval from the Coliseum Commission and the L.A. City Council, but both groups, as well as L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, have expressed support for the project, which could be given the green light as soon as July.

The stadium would be the first open-air sports venue to be built in the city since 1962.

 

What do you think of the stadium choice? What are some expectations you have for the stadium?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Meanwhile, in unrelated news, MLS Miami will begin construction on a new stadium … um…. hello….Miami?

    SFX: Crickets

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  2. How can galaxy rebound from this huge news LA2 getting a stadium by 2018. It can actually get worse for galaxy if LA2 go for the name of LA Hollywood and sign for CR7 to a pre contract.
    For now, galaxy have to think of something big by 2020. Sell the stadium or keep it as an event center which it is. Would galaxy consider making a waterfront stadium in san pedro or move to Orange county or a waterfront stadium in santa monica.
    Someway somehow galaxy need to remodel stubhub, make a new stadium, sign cr7 or messi before LA2 does or Miami does, because I don’t see galaxy in downtown LA in the future.
    I say make a 22,000 waterfront stadium.

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    • If they decided to move, OC would make sense, but a waterfront stadium in Santa Monica is flat-out impossible. Way too overbuilt already– You couldn’t buy enough waterfront space in Santa Monica to build a waterfront locker room for the youth team. San Pedro is just an ugly place, and no more convenient to most of LA than Carson. A massive refinery and a massive shipping port.

      It’s definitely bad news for the Galaxy but AEG knows what they are doing when it comes to doing stadiums in LA. They’ll have a response if the situation merits it.

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  3. It is called soccer in the U.S. Thank you Columbus and Orlando!

    and FYI, in the U.S.:

    field
    cleats
    jersey and shorts

    ‘Merica!

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    • No idea if I have any idea of what you are talking about.

      But love live US SOCCER. Do it OUR way.

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      • I get ya, I voted for Seattle Sounders on the write-in vote.

        I was outvoted by the guys wanting to add the FC to the end. At least make is SC?….nope.

      • Not to fret. The club has not been named as of yet. The LAFC label was meant from the beginning to be nothing more than a temporary name to refer to until they have developed a brand.

      • Who cares what it’s called. It is one game.

        The bigger issue is that the game in the USA is more about marketing than sport. Call it a gripe because it is, but justified for many passionates of what happens on the field.

        (Also, passionates of design should also have a problem with a lack of imagination re stadium design. We’ve seen this design over and over again, to me it practically looks copied (Miami 1st iteration, Cosmos..) Not so different from the original stage-end cookie cutter MLS stadia, just minus stage and with full roof (they had to screw up the rooves 4-5 times before realizing what the rest of the world already knows). Meanwhile, incredibly original designs signed by great architects pop up everywhere else, most recently in France for the Euros 2016..)

        I believe these are missed opportunites.

  4. I’m a diehard Galaxy fan, and I will be at every away game when they play LAFC. I can uber to the game and back for less than I would pay for parking in Carson. Plus there are actually restaurants and bars in the neighborhood to enjoy before the game. If LAFC play their cards right they can build a rabid fan base quickly. I welcome the competition to keep LAG on their toes.

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    • “I welcome the competition to keep LAG on their toes.”
      Same here. Is it any coincidence AEG put up $15 million in stadium renovations right after LAFC was announced? Highly doubt it.

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    • You should support both clubs.

      You could form a supporter group for both teams and run around saying, “Yay LA soccer!”

      I hear there’s some folks in Atlanta doing that. Maybe it’ll catch on in every city.

      Kumbaya!

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  5. LA2 getting their stadium should create a domino effect in the league and open the DP market like never before.
    If people think the NYfc and red bull derby is crazy, just wait until LA2 with dps and galaxy play each other. Two teams with no company names, dps and stadium should make the fans more than happy.
    And if LA2 get their stadium approved and ready by 2018, then teams like sounders, whitecaps, DC, NYC, should have something planned or ready just like them.

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  6. I agree w SLA. Myself being from LA also. That being said the size of the stadium seems appropriate for LA. Don’t think they would fill more than that.

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    • I wish StubHub Center was only 22,000. That way we’d sell out the stadium more regularly. There’s just not the demand to fill 27,000 seats except for the biggest marquee events (Seattle, SJ, and MLS Cup).

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  7. With the number of good expansion candidates out there and MLS’ flagship team already in LA I don’t understand the point of putting a second team there at this point.

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    • Are you one of those who said that NYC didn’t need or deserve a second team? (I know you are a RBNY guy).

      These big markets can handle and benefit from two teams. Even “good expansion candidates” can’t match what even a second team in a humongous global market offers.

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      • Yeah I didn’t think NYC merited a second team and still don’t. I think there is a stronger case for LA to have a second team because NYC is not a great soccer town but I don’t really see the point of two teams in either city yet.

      • NYCFC has been drawing 20k plus to a baseball stadium, and that doesn’t appear be to detracting from Red Bulls attendance. I think NY will be just fine with two teams.

      • Let’s see how they’re doing once the newness wears off – it’s way too early to judge one way or the other.

      • Way too early to judge???

        A lack of factual information has never stopped you from making judgements about NYCFC before. Why start being rational now?

      • NYC not a great soccer town? You must be kidding – there are fans from all over the world in bars across the city every weekend watching games, and they flock to the international exhibition games. MLS just needs to do a better job tapping into that. That said, Red Bulls are doing ok out there in Harrison, and so far so good for NYCFC – I see much potential for future growth when/if the teams actually starts winning games and gets a full complement of DPs.

      • Not kidding at all. Yes there are people here from all over the world who still support their teams but in terms of support for MLS, I don’t think it’s great. Hope I’m wrong – I’d love to see two teams here drawing big crowds every week but I’m doubtful.

    • The LA2 vs galaxy game will be bigger than the Hudson battle. None of the LA teams will carry a company name or be ” a farm team” and both teams will have the star power of a Hollywood script.
      That’s is why red bull needs a rebrand, if we think that red bull vs nycfc is crazy enough, just wait until red bull is rebrand.
      It’s not rocket science, imagine LA Hollywood vs LA galaxy.
      On one side you have CR7 and on the other messi, or maybe both will be in the same team. These two teams will use their money for sure 🙂 not like red bull my son.

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    • I hear ya slowleftarm, but the flip side is where I am at. Why does LA get all of So Cal for their homegrown players? Let’s split that in half. If that is a big part of building teams.

      Ditto with NY.

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    • A key point is they didn’t add an expansion club at this point, they have converted a really bad model and owner into a very impressive, deep pockets ownership group they couldn’t have attracted elsewhere. In a short time-span, they have managed to accomplish what hasn’t been done in other metro areas- put what looks to be an impressive stadium complex in a downtown district with transport and all the check boxes marked. So far- not much to criticize here. I’d also add they have made inroads in a huge media market, with one of the largest soccer fanbases in the nation. Plenty to go around and many waiting to convert to MLS. A local rivalry could go a lounge way toward that aim, as would the marketing savvy of this group…. perhaps a few big names…. a development system tapping into a huge pool. It’s a winner for MLS.

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    • The point is money. Two LA/NY teams means 4-8 games involving teams from the country’s biggest tv/media markets every week. It means increased likelihood of those markets making deep runs into the playoffs, where the revenue and attention is higher. It means DP slots in cities most likley to attract quality players. It means high-profile stadiums (eventually). It means derby games that excite the fan base and create “moments” for the game. It also does not in any way preclude expansion into other candidate cities in the near future. How many teams are in and around London? MLS can easily handle two in NY and LA.

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      • Part of what you say may make sense – if it means bigger TV contracts then that could be worth it. It makes no sense to compare London to any US city in terms of soccer. London has around the same population as NYC and soccer is bigger than the “big 3” US sports put together. On an hour long edition of sky sports news, soccer gets probably 45-50 minutes if not more.

      • My comparison with London is about attendance. The combined attendance for two teams in one large US market — if both play at home the same week — would probably still be less than the attendance at one game at the Emirates (cap. 60k) or roughly the size of one crowd at Samford Bridge (40k). There should be plenty of soccer fans in NY and LA to equate attendance per week at just one teams’ match in London.

      • Ok but the population of soccer fans in London is many multiples of the population of soccer fans in NYC or LA.

  8. 22,000 ? Is that even going to work in 2018? Orlando is now drawing Seattle crowds. Montreal drew 65,000 for a CCL game.

    I realize these are outliers, but the question isn’t how close in terms of numbers until they are not outliers, that is still a long ways away. The question is how long until we hit the tipping point and it becomes inevitablen that they will be. We might have already.

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    • sell outs + wait list > satisfying all demand

      also no mention of ability to expand a la TFC if needed (unlike TFC ironically)

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    • Galaxy still draw around 22k on average.. so its not a bad number to be at, and everything Adam said.

      that said I would love to see a 30 or 40k stadium in LA or NY or elsewhere.. that seems like a good level for MLS to aspire to and for USMNT/other intn’l games. very few stadiums in this country at that level, tons of 60k+ throwball venues and 18-27k SSS and only a few like RFK, Hartford, Stanford that hit that perfect level.

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      • Right now the only LA or NY team that warrants a 30-40k stadium is NYCFC, and who knows if that’ll last after the newness wears off. I agree it’d be great to have big stadiums in each of the country’s two biggest cities, but supply-side soccer does not work. Only demand-side (see Seattle, Orlando, NYCFC right now, Montreal during CCL).

      • They don’t open the upper level for most games.

        One level out of three is closer to 1/3, probably even a little less than 1/3. Nice try though!

    • playing the supply & demand game. create the demand, limit the supply, push prices up…

      that said, i can’t imagine they won’t allow for it to expand. of course, these guys didn’t think to stream the event going on right now…so who knows.

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    • If the stadium becomes too small they could convert one of the ends into standing room. They can fit more people in and it is a whole lot more fun to watch a game anyway.

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    • Actually if you google ny cosmos stadium plans, it’s looks kinda like the exact same thing.
      I feel bad for cosmos, first they can’t get a stadium and now they copy their design.
      Cosmos need to get out of Hofstra ASAP, but yes, this stadium design looks a lot like cosmos future stadium.

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  9. That looks amazing. When you say it’s “near the Coliseum”, I didn’t realize it was butted right up next to it.

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    • It’s in Exposition Park, where they have the Science Museums, and one of the Space Shuttles, and right next to USC!!! The Sports Arena was the former home to the USC basketball team, The original home of the LA Lakers after the move from Minnesota until they were bought by Jack Kent Cooke and where he built the Fabulous Forum. And for a long time before the moved to the Staples Center, the home of the Clippers after they came from San Diego. It was used for gymnastics and other sports in the 1984 Olympics.

      I remember when the held a 6-day bicycle race there in the 70’s and built a 200m 43 degree banked track. I had a track bike and I used to ride at the Encino Velodrome which only had a 25 degree banking. Prior to the 6-day they had an afternoon were they allowed local track riders an opportunity to ride the wood velodrome. I remember my shoulders and arms ached after about an hour of riding because of the G forces you took going around at speed and tightly holding on to the handlebars.

      RIP LA Sports Arena. I’ll never forget you!

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  10. looks great! surprised they didn’t try to play the first year in the Coliseum a la Orlando City in the Citrus Bowl, but a well funded expansion team taking their time to open in a downtown SSS — well done LAFC!

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  11. The fact that this will replace the horrific Sports Arena should expedite the process, and mitigate the eventual nimbyism that occurs with large projects in the LA area. The stadium looks great and is close to precious public transit in the area. Well done

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    • I thought a New York Group (Madison Square Garden, perhaps) just spent tens of millions on the Sports Arena turning it into a concert venue to compete with Staples Center and LA Live. Something to do with getting even with AEG over opening place in New York. Strange that they would spend all that money and then tear it down.

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      • Wrong venue Limey. That was the Forum in Inglewood that MSG bought and turned into a concert venue.

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