'LA Hasn't Built a Stadium of This Size in 100 Years': SoFi Stadium Is Ready for Its Super Bowl Close Up
There will be plenty of fanfare around NFL stars like Matt Stafford, Aaron Donald, Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase when Super Bowl LVI comes to Los Angeles on February 13. But for 70,000-plus people in attendance and millions watching around the world, there will be another superstar on display: SoFi Stadium.
The 3.1 million-square-foot behemoth in Inglewood is a state-of-the-art technological marvel, featuring a 70,000-square-foot video board (dubbed the “Infinity Screen”), lightning-fast Wi-Fi and a massive LED canopy. SoFi Stadium relies solely on digital displays for everything from advertising to concession stand menus; that also comes in handy since the arena has two NFL tenants, the Rams and the Chargers, and can easily rotate their branding according to who’s playing that day.
With a whopping $5.5 billion price tag, the stadium’s top brass has visions that go far beyond the Super Bowl. The facility is also a concert venue that will host the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Bad Bunny this year, and it will play a feature role in the 2028 Summer Olympics in L.A.
"We’re building a smart campus," Skarpi Hedinsson, chief technology officer of SoFi Stadium and the surrounding Hollywood Park complex, told dot.LA. “L.A. hasn’t built a stadium of this size in 100 years.”
Privately financed by the Rams’ billionaire owner, Stan Kroenke, SoFi Stadium is built on a single, converged network—powered by Cisco and partner technology integrator AmpThink—that connects virtually every piece of digital infrastructure in the stadium. That offers more robust Wi-Fi access, and enables fans to enter through the turnstiles using mobile tickets and purchase concessions and merchandise with digital wallets like Apple Pay.
“We’ve designed the network looking forward to the 2028 Olympics, where we would expect to see a lot more people on the network across the campus and much larger traffic consumption,” AmpThink CEO Bill Anderson told dot.LA.
Cisco’s connected Wi-Fi network utilizes the next-generation Wi-Fi 6 standard, offering faster speeds and increased bandwidth. Currently, SoFi Stadium has more than 2,500 Wi-Fi 6 access points, the largest such deployment at a sports venue. Cisco is also responsible for the IT at Hollywood Park’s adjoining, 6,000-seat YouTube Theater and American Airlines Plaza, a sprawling open-air space that serves as a main entrance to the stadium.
Photo by Decerry Donato
SoFI Stadium’s tech features include a metaverse app called Dreamground that displays virtual sculptures and interactive features.
Originally, SoFi Stadium’s data center was designed to hold seven server racks and thousands of servers. But because the network is consolidated, the stadium only needs one-half of a rack that holds a few hundred servers to power the 300-acre property. (Implementing the technology required a lot of manpower: Over 17,000 people worked on the project, with 3,500 people on-site daily.)
Other technological features at SoFi Stadium include Dreamground—a metaverse app that allows guests to interact with an augmented digital world, complete with virtual sculptures and interactive features, which can be accessed throughout the stadium and Hollywood Park.
And, of course, there’s the enormous “sunbrella” LED canopy hanging above the stadium. Though it’s hidden in plain view, the semi-translucent roof not only protects visitors from the weather but also functions as a giant overhead video screen.
For Hedinsson and the rest of SoFi Stadium’s tech team, Super Bowl Sunday isn’t just a chance for the Rams to become NFL champions—it’s an opportunity to showcase the arena’s cutting-edge technology before a global audience. Hedinsson paid particular tribute to Kroenke’s vision for the project.
“The commitment that [Kroenke] had from the very beginning—making sure it has the latest technology, that it has a differentiated guest experience—you’re seeing that play out,” Hedinsson said.
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