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Great sound, great seats and a sea breeze – Deadline

“I’ve never been in a space station before,” David Letterman said on stage last Sunday as he gazed around the sparkling cave at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

Letterman was there to present Foo Fighters who – along with Jennifer Lopez, HER, Eddie Vedder, Selena Gomez, Prince Harry and J Balvin – were part of Vax Live, a global effort to boost inoculation of Covid across the globe that will be broadcast on television. weekend. Even with all those stars on stage, the building stands out.

The 3.1 million square foot stadium isn’t just big, it’s a stunning one, starting with what most people notice when they first walk in: the large oval video screen hanging from the ceiling. .

Dubbed the Oculus, the 2.2million pound ring is an end-to-end 4K HDR video system. Additionally – and it may sound simple, but it’s important – there’s video from both sides of the Oculus. This means that the audience on one side of the pitch can watch both the front side of the board and the back side on the other side, doubling the viewing experience. This type of simple idea made on a large scale is what makes SoFi special.

How to watch the Vax Live concert on TV and online

The massive Oculus dashboard hangs from the ceiling.
SoFi Stadium

When the Staples Center first opened in 1999, the massive wall of suites seemed designed to not only separate the city’s businesses from their money, but it also separated good seats from nosebleeds. There were the haves, the have-nots and those with the en-suite catering.

The first superstar to play Staples, Bruce Springsteen, saw it clearly when the venue opened. “Too many sky boxes”, he said.

The designers of SoFi were a little more low-key, although more debauched. There is a dizzying array of suites in the new location of Inglewood. There are patio suites, patio suites, pole suites, executive suites, bungalows, and cabins on the grounds. There is also an executive club that surrounds the entire interior bowl. But the suites are mostly tucked away under or housed in the various terraces. This avoids branching off the building while allowing the well-to-do to spend freely.

sofi-staduim-suites

SoFi Stadium Suites for Rams Games
LA Rams

While Springsteen found Staples’ sound impressive from the stage, members of the public on opening night – and more than a few since – were less enthusiastic. This is not the case at Sofi. Even at least 50% empty, the sound in the Vax Live building was good. For $ 5 billion, one would expect the same.

The seats are also carefully designed. The seats are the standard nightmares, squeezed together, but the rake and positioning of the balconies is where the magic is. Due to the verticality, even the mid-level 300 section appears to hover just above the sideline.

And if those curled up together in Section 300 were to warm up on a hot day in Los Angeles, the creators of the building have, once again, a simple but brilliant solution. Forty of the 302 massive “frames” that cover the ceiling can be opened slightly to let in fresh air. And given the afternoon sea breeze that Inglewood enjoys, this is an effective design element.

There were a few hiccups on the space station’s maiden voyage with a live crowd. It turns out that, as the terrain plunges 100 feet below grade, the 300 section seats are actually on the 6th floor. The two rows of luxury suites between it and the 200 section only confuse matters further. Even the well-meaning stadium workers who hovered to help the stray masses of Vax Live were unsure of which direction to go, repeatedly contradicting each other and angering some attendees.

Another question mark is food. There are numerous facilities dotted throughout the arena, but none were open on opening night. Instead, there were about a dozen food trucks, each of which had lines longer than any of the ones to enter the building. Hopefully the next time people sign up for the SoFi mothership, it will be easier for them to get their $ 18 nachos.

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