Perhaps nothing stimulates fervor and anticipation in the U.S.A. quite like the start of football season in the fall. To meet this opportunity, a state-of-the-art venue was designed in Los Angeles that is the largest stadium in NFL history. At 3.1 million sq. ft. (288,000 m2), it offers premium amenities and high-tech features unparalleled in the sports and entertainment industries, serving as an iconic and revolutionary destination worthy of the entertainment capital of the world. The new stadium, SoFi Stadium, was built by Los Angeles Rams Owner/Chairman and Hollywood Park Developer E. Stanley Kroenke and is the home to two major Los Angeles NFL teams: the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.
Turner Construction and AECOM Hunt were tapped to oversee the construction of this ambitious endeavor. Leading the design for Kroenke’s vision, HKS, Inc., took the reins as the architectural firm. Designed to be situated under one monumental roof canopy, three venues redefine entertainment and allow the site to host various events. The stadium itself is the first open-air, indoor-outdoor stadium constructed with more than 70,000 seats, including 260 luxury suites, with expansion capabilities that will accommodate up to 100,000 guests. Under the same roof canopy of SoFi Stadium is the adjacent 2.5-acre covered outdoor American Airlines Plaza as well as a 6,000-seat performance venue: YouTube Theater.
The tile and stone needs of this massive powerhouse were accomplished via a three-pronged approach led by three California-based, family-owned installers. NTCA member Premier Tile & Marble, together with SMG Stone Company and Continental Marble & Tile Company, would install more than 120 different tile types with varying levels of finishes from all over the world. Each of the tile and stone subcontractors selected only LATICRETE® products for their installation needs.
• High Profile Design – Highly anticipated, and expected to be the first of its kind in the sports entertainment industries, SoFi Stadium’s materials and finishes were selected to be world-class and extensive. In addition, the key design challenge was to craft an iconic and revolutionary stadium destination and experience worthy of the entertainment capital of the world.
• Logistical Complexity – The expansive project would require over 120 different types of tile and stone that would be executed simultaneously by three major subcontractors. The sheer amount of square footage of floor and wall materials limited mobility and required stocking tile and setting materials on multiple floors throughout the stadium.
A LATICRETE solution
For an expansive and complex project with a magnitude as large as SoFi Stadium, the quantity of stone and tile types on the project and their variability in color and origin were immense. Sizes ranged from extremely small to large formats, creating an extreme variation in color and aesthetic that is rarely seen. In the same fashion, each style had to be coupled with specific grout colors and types as well as the proper setting materials.
Responsible for tile installation encompassing the locker rooms, cheerleader facilities, owner’s clubs, VIP suites, club areas, restrooms, concessions and more on the first six floors of the stadium, Premier Tile & Marble employed different tile styles and setting materials to coordinate with the unique design elements of each area. For example, the owner’s club was designed to include a higher-end aesthetic, which entailed luxury tile; almost every concession booth on the second floor required distinct styles as well. From the whiskey and champagne bar, numerous concessions serving a variety of cuisines, to miscellaneous 360° bars throughout the center’s walkways, each had its own design requirements to be met.
Continental Marble & Tile Company similarly completed tile installations in the locker rooms, cheerleader lockers, owner’s clubs, public restrooms and many of the concession areas. In addition, they employed attractive 1″ mosaic hexagon tiles for the installation of various impressive accent walls in the walkways outside the suites, some 20 ft. (6.1 m) in height.
SMG Stone Company’s scope of work required the installation of large-format 10-millimeter (approximately 3/8″) porcelain panels in all of the premium suites throughout the stadium bowl and large-format porcelain panels for the countertops within the suites. For this task, LATICRETE® 257 TITANIUM™ thin-set mortar was used for its high-performance, long open time and superior transfer for maximum coverage.
Throughout the project, each of the subcontractors employed a variety of LATICRETE solutions that provided dependability and top quality. In addition to those mentioned above, LATICRETE mortars and adhesives used on this project included: MULTIMAX™ Lite, LHT, TRI-LITE™ and LATAPOXY® 300 Adhesive.
Several top-quality grouts were also selected from the LATICRETE portfolio, including SPECTRALOCK® PRO Premium Grout, SPECTRALOCK 2000 IG, PERMACOLOR® Grout and PERMACOLOR Select. In addition, LATICRETE HYDRO BAN® provided a single-component, self-curing liquid rubber polymer waterproofing membrane for bathrooms and locker rooms. LATASIL™ Sealant was used at movement joints and Premium Acrylic Caulk was used for joints to other adjacent surfaces. STONETECH® BulletProof® Sealer was also utilized throughout the project as a water-based penetrating sealer to provide maximum stain and antimicrobial product protection while preserving the natural look of the surface.
As the first of its kind and the largest in NFL history, SoFi Stadium is also the first football stadium to be built within Los Angeles in nearly 100 years and includes many firsts across industries. From the record-breaking 70,000-sq.-ft. (6,503m2) double-sided video board, the Infinity Screen by Samsung, to its state-of-the-art single layer
ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) roof that features a series of operable panels that can open and close as needed, the stadium is a marvel of modern design.
SoFi Stadium officially opened with its first event on Sept. 13, 2020, for the season’s first Sunday night game. In addition, SoFi Stadium hosted the 2022 Super Bowl (Rams won, ICYMI), and is set to host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. With many more high-profile events planned in the coming years, the new SoFi Stadium gives football fanatics the touchdown they have been waiting for.