Los Angeles Football Club ticked another milestone on Tuesday as they broke ceremonial ground on their stadium, in a morning event attended by club owners, dignitaries from numerous walks of life, supporters and media.
Perhaps the biggest news item on the day was the announcement, by new lead managing owner Larry Berg, that the stadium will be named Banc of California Stadium, as part of a partnership deal with the financial institution.
“This spectacular stadium will provide LAFC and its fans with a world-class home,” said MLS commissioner Don Garber in a team release, “and I look forward to the many rivalry matches between LAFC and the LA Galaxy that will be played here for years to come.”
According to the club, Banc of California Stadium is scheduled to have the steepest seating bowl in MLS, at 34 degrees, with the closest seat being just 12 feet from the field of play.
There will multiple options for people to get to the stadium, including the Metro’s Expo Line, something Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti highlighted in his remarks at the groundbreaking, as well as 440 planned parking spaces for bicycles and a bike path to the stadium as part of the My Figueroa Project. For those interested in the old-fashioned SoCal tradition of driving to games, the club has committed to providing 5 percent of parking spaces with EV charging stations, that can be expanded to 20 percent with the infrastructure being included in construction.
While the LA Sports Arena, which will be torn down to make room for Banc of California Stadium, still stands, construction equipment was visible beyond the boundaries of Tuesday’s events and some basic demolition to sidewalks was visible in spots.
The stadium is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018, to go along with LAFC’s entrance into MLS for the 2018 season. When asked, LAFC president Tom Penn said that while construction delays are common for a project as big as this, the club have no contingency plans at present if stadium project is not ready by the opening months of the 2018 season.
We’ll have more coverage of LAFC’s groundbreaking event. For now, what do you think about the new name? Should we nickname it “The Banc”? Leave a comment below!