Thank you to the Los Angeles Rams for hosting me. As always, all opinions and recommendations are my own. This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you book or purchase through these links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
About SoFi Stadium
Located in the Inglewood area of Los Angeles, SoFi Stadium opened in September 2020. It contains 70, 240 seats and functions as a sports and entertainment venue. It’s truly a world within itself engulfing the entire space of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack. Two NFL teams, the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers, share both the stadium and the honor of calling SoFi home!
The 3.1 million square foot stadium features a fixed roof and a 1 million square foot see-through canopy! The canopy roof has a beautiful pattern that creates unique sunlight beams all around the plaza.
While most of the stadium is covered, it is still somewhat of an open concept and rain can get inside in places. Thankfully, LA has very mild winters and doesn’t get much rain!
About Hollywood Park
SoFi Stadium is part of Hollywood Park, a 300-acre mixed-use development that is the largest of its kind in the Western United States. For perspective, it’s 3.5 times the size of Disneyland in Anaheim! Built by the owner/chairman of the LA Rams, Hollywood Park is meant to be a year-round sports and entertainment venue.
With shopping, open park spaces, small businesses, water features, and SoFi Stadium, Hollywood Park has something for everyone!
Home of Two NFL Teams
As mentioned, SoFi Stadium is home to the LA Rams and the LA Chargers. The only other pair of NFL teams that share a home stadium are the NY Jets and the NY Giants. The two LA teams rotate home game weekends and both have merchandise for sale in the gift shop year-round.
Additionally, both teams have their own locker rooms on separate ends of the field with their respective team colors and logos. They might share a house but roommates they are not! 🙃
SoFi Stadium Fun Facts
- Holds the “NFL’s largest stadium” title.
- Has The Infinity Screen by Samsung, the only two-sided scoreboard in the world.
- Designed to be seen from any seat in the house without having to turn your head.
- Comprised of 70,000 sq ft of 4K HDR inside a 465-foot-long loop
- The LA Chargers pay $1 annual rent as the owner of SoFi, Stan Kroenke, also owns the LA Rams.
- The field is 100 feet underground to comply with the height restrictions of LAX Airport.
- It’s fun to watch planes from all over the world fly over right before landing.
- It’s fun for flight passengers to watch the videos/images as they fly over before landing at LAX (I’ve personally witnessed this)!
- The roof is made from a flourine-based plastic that is as strong as glass although it only weighs 1% of what its counterpart weighs.
- The roof is the largest digital video board in the world.
- The exact cost of SoFi is unknown but there’s speculation that it cost over 5 billion USD!
- Architecturally, the roof in combination with the video board can act as a wind sail in the event of a major storm.
- Likewise, the roof and the stadium are separated by a “seismic moat” which means they move independently of each other to help with earthquakes.
- Players can see palm trees from the field even though it’s 100 feet below ground. All they have to do is look right or left out the east/west sides of the stadium. Yes, they thought of everything including two landscaped areas with palm trees!
- Has hosted prominent events such as Super Bowl LVI in 2022 and the College Football National Championship, WrestleMania 39, and the CONCACAF Gold Cup final in 2023.
Touring SoFi Stadium
Even if you aren’t an LA fan or a football fan, a SoFi Stadium tour is a very cool activity to experience behind the scenes of an incredible attraction. If you love sports, entertainment, architecture, design, tech, electronics, or shopping, you will enjoy a SoFi Stadium tour!
NOTE: As I was a guest of the LA Rams, my tour was geared more toward the Rams’ version. On a typical SoFi Stadium, guests will see both locker rooms and a more general/neutral overview.
Obviously, the stadium itself is what you’re here for, right? But little did you know that the stadium makes up only one part of a much bigger picture! To stay focused for now, the SoFi Stadium tour includes the stands, the field, that gorgeous roof and scoreboard, the locker room, press box, player tunnel, and more!*
With the fun facts already disclosed, it’s time for the photos!
*Dependent on the type of tour ticket purchased. Not all features are included on each ticket type.
The one-of-a-kind roof that can pull double duty (below and above) is pretty amazing, isn’t it?
The Video Board
This truly unique video board blew me away during my tour and seemed to blow everyone away at the game! What isn’t there to love about a two-sided scoreboard called The Infinity Screen by Samsung?
This is what the field looks like during a tour (at least during football season when I toured it). However, this wasn’t my first time on the field. This was the Monday after a Saturday night preseason game. My first time on the field was during that game but more on that below. Keep reading!
The stands are more or less what you would expect in a brand-new NFL stadium. However, the entryways are intriguing and unusual!
The cabanas are on the sideline’s edge on both sides. In the middle is the Field Club (pictured here) also on both sides.
I mean, it’s SoCal. When are there NOT cabanas? 😂 Yes, even at SoFi Stadium, they have Field Cabanas! They include 20-24 seats (with grass-edge options), 4 VIP parking passes, food/beer/wine (liquor for purchase), and more. Price varies depending on the event.
The Press Box
This isn’t my first time in a press box. I’ve been in college football press boxes. However, this was my first time in an NFL press box. Certainly, my first time covering a game from any press box.
Since I had already seen the press box in action on game night, we skipped this part on my private tour. Subsequently, all photos are from game night and are NOT indicative of what you would see on a typical SoFi Stadium tour.
I had my own little workspace complete with unlimited snacks and nonalcoholic drinks. Prior to the game and at half-time, there was a buffet SPREAD to die for!
The Locker Room
The Locker Room was one of my favorite parts of the entire tour. This was something I got to see both post-game and during my private tour a couple of days later. The highlight was absolutely the Rams’ horn (all in blue lights) as a focal point of almost the entire locker room ceiling! 😱
The Post-Game Press Conference Room was also super-cool to see in action. I got to watch Rams’ Head Coach Sean McVay give his post-game interview live!
They were both so different and empty when I went through them during my tour! 😳😂
The American Airlines Plaza at SoFi Stadium stands 10 stories tall and can accommodate 15,000 people. Open year-round to the public, it is situated between the stadium and the smaller performance venue.
American Airlines pledged $90 million over a 10-year period to secure its name on the impressive space!
On three sides of the stadium you will find the Canyons. Intended to maintain a sense of openness, these canyons are open-air terraces with a California-inspired landscape design.
On the eastern and western sides, you will find luxury premium club areas requiring special ticket access. So, unless you take a SoFi Stadium tour, you won’t see these two. However, the northern canyon is the easiest to access as it’s the main gateway to the stadium.
The canyons have winding, zig-zagging staircases and escalators designed to mimic or mirror the California coastline. Don’t you love all the attention to the design detail? I know do!
The YouTube Theater is an intimate venue developed by Stanley Kroenke, the owner of the LA Rams. With seating of 6,000 and 227,000 square feet of space, the venue hosts performances of all kinds including comedy, concerts, award shows, and community events.
The Lake Park
The aptly named Lake Park focuses on a lake in front of SoFi which is part of the stadium’s recycled water project. With a depth of 15 feet, the 6-acre lake was designed to hold 100% recycled water. There are 27 recycled water connections around the stadium as sustainability was an important factor in its design.
Additionally, you will find the large SoFi Stadium sign as well as art installations, murals, bike paths, and pedestrian walkways.
You might also like: TOURING AT&T STADIUM IN ARLINGTON TEXAS
How to Book a SoFi Stadium Tour
Booking a SoFi Stadium tour is fairly straightforward and should be done in advance. While walk-ins are accepted, the tours can fill up in advance and often do.
TIP: If touring SoFi Stadium is only part of your Los Angeles adventure, consider purchasing the Hollywood Plus Pass. You can choose 3 or 5 attractions and SoFi is just one of many options!
Types of SoFi Stadium Tours
This ticket currently costs $39 and includes a one-hour guided tour and a tour through The Kinsey Collection art exhibit (a limited-time exhibit).
This option currently costs $49 and includes all of the Standard plus tunnel run experience, field access, and locker room access (subject to availability).
The ultimate experience currently costs $59 and includes all of the Combo plus the catch AR photo and a $15 shopping/food voucher (excluding alcohol) to be used on the date of the tour.
For more information, see all types of available SoFi Stadium tours.
These are special tours that only take place on specific days during the NFL season. While you don’t have to purchase a separate ticket, you must have game day tickets for the designated dates for Rally Days.
This tour gives insight into how SoFi Stadium prepares on game days for both the LA Rams and the LA Chargers.
Private SoFi Stadium Tours
Rams locker room set up for a private fantasy football draft party
Private SoFi Stadium tours are an option for groups of 20 or more people. Additionally, there are different types of group tours available such as for birthday parties, corporate events, and field trips. To learn more, check out the group tour information.
Where to Stay Near SoFi Stadium ???
There are some convenient places to stay near SoFi Stadium. Ironically, they are close to the airport too!
The Los Angeles Airport Marriott is convenient to both SoFi and LAX. Obviously, not just your ordinary airport hotel, the property has a stunning pool and definitely keeps a trendy upscale vibe!
What could be better than an upscale hotel located 15 min from both Venice and Manhattan Beaches, is close to SoFi, and has a free airport shuttle? If this sounds good, the H Hotel Los Angeles, CurioCollection by Hilton is your place!
A newer boutique hotel, Alsace LA has been praised by many organizations including Travel + Leisure. Located between SoFi and DTLA, it has a 48-room intimate and authentic setting that they self-describe as “free-spirited
Rare Sideline Interview with LA Rams GM
I was very excited to get the rare opportunity to not only meet the General Manager of the Los Angeles Rams but also to interview him and have a discussion too!
Undeniably, this was completely unexpected and not originally part of the plan. However, when you get the call from the Rams PR that the GM would like to meet you on the sidelines pre-game, you go and are quite thankful!
About Les Snead, General Manager of the Los Angeles Rams
Meet Les Snead, General Manager of the Los Angeles Rams. He’s held this position and title since 2012. For the sports fans out there, you know that at that time they were the St. Louis Rams. When the team relocated to Los Angeles, Mr. Snead made the move as well.
At 52 years old, he’s made quite an impressive career for himself. He and his wife, Kara have 3 children and live in the Los Angeles area.
Despite a personal connection, I had never met Mr. Snead before. Surprisingly, I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. Immediately, it was easy from the first second. Les has a laid-back, calming demeanor in true Southern style.
The Auburn Connection
True Southern style is only truly understood by a fellow Southerner. Not only am I a fellow Southerner but Les and I are both natives of Sweet Home Alabama and are proud graduates of Auburn University (where War Eagle is a greeting and a way of life). Additionally, we were both involved with Auburn football.
Les is a former Auburn Tiger and I am a former Auburn Tigerette (football recruiting NOT cheerleading). While we weren’t at Auburn the same years, we both got to experience champion teams. Les was part of the 1993 undefeated 11-0 team and I still occasionally wear my 1997 SEC WEST Division pendant (the top of the players’ rings) the Tigerettes received.
Undoubtedly, this gives a strong idea as to how we are connected. However, as far as the name of the personal connection, that person wishes to remain private and I’m honoring that request.
NOTE: Please do not reach out asking if I can connect you with Mr. Snead or the LA Rams in any way as I cannot. Thank you for your cooperation.
NFL Manager Life
Les thoroughly enjoys his job. Interestingly, he had his eye on medical school before a chance hiring by Rodney Garner, his position coach at Auburn, changed his life. Hired as a GA at Auburn, Les stayed on the Plains, earning his master’s degree, and starting a trajectory that would lead him to big places.
What Preseason Life Is Like
Les compares preseason life to that of baseball spring training. Typically, the team goes to camp and returns in early August to dive right into preseason games. There are three preseason games that he views as a “shaping experience.”
Ultimately, Les says his job at this point is to play the younger guys-not the first-string starters. This strategy not only protects the starters from injury but also develops the younger players.
According to Les, it’s about “setting our team”. It allows him to see who’s going to make the team, who’s going to contribute to the team, and who will be alternates.
Typical Weekly Preseason Schedule
Les states that team practices are in 4-day blocks. Then, there’s a day off followed by another 4-day block.
When the team travels for an away game, the week works differently. They will fly on Tuesday, practice with the home team on Wednesday and Thursday, and play them on Saturday.
Les’ everyday job becomes making sure all the different groups of the franchise stay moving and coordinated. He oversees everyone and every group from the players to the staff to videography.
Everyone who has a hand in making the LA Rams — everything that needs to happen to keep them going is a part of his job as General Manager.
And, he says they watch A LOT!!! of practice.
At this point in the conversation, as the Rams’ kicker asks us to move so he can practice kicking into the net, Les looks at me and says (with a smirk), “Sounds boring and mundane, right?”
To which I reply, “Not if you love the game! But yes, I get it’s a repetitive part of your job and therefore could get old.”
While the preseason games don’t count towards the official season record, they do have a purpose and you always want to win them. However, once those three preseason weeks are over…
What Season Life Is Like
Things change. With his team set, Les says it becomes more or less about college football. He still has a job to do with practice and maintenance decisions of his team.
However, now, the focus also has to be on the road to April. THE DRAFT.
Securing the future of the team. Les likens it to writing a thesis. It’s a slow build-up to a major event. So he closely follows college football to see who is up-and-coming to be ready for April.
Best and Worst of Being the LA Rams GM
I asked Les what the best and worst parts of his job are. Here are his answers:
BEST: “It’s fulfilling,” he says. Les takes pride in helping shape people’s lives and knowing it’s helping others and the city itself. “Winning is also very fun!”
WORST: Of course, it’s losing. “Yes, it affects everyone from me on down. It affects morale and even how things go personally with my wife and kids.”
I still can’t decide which answer I like most. The fact that he loves giving back to help shape others’ lives as someone did for him or the very raw, honest, sobering answer of how losing affects all areas of his life.
What Les Snead Wants Fans to Know
Lastly, I asked him as a GM, what’s the ONE THING you want Rams fans (as well as everyday NFL fans) to know?
Les states, “It’s for you…it’s for the fans, it’s for the city. It isn’t easy but the fans make it easier. It’s about community.” He points up into the stands, “I want the person in Section 12 up there to know as they sit in the stands now and tweet or Instagram about it during the week, it’s for them.”
And that is a true Southerner taking his roots and putting them into play in this game we call life. I couldn’t be more proud that Les represents my home state, my alma mater, or my adopted hometown of Los Angeles, California!
We went on to discuss more about Auburn and something he was asked to film for the (then) upcoming Tigerette/Tiger Host 45th Anniversary. Before we knew it, time was up!
Preseason LA Rams vs LA Chargers Game
With my pregame sideline interview over, it was time to head up to the press box to watch the LA Rams take on the LA Chargers in preseason play!
Note: This was the 2022 preseason LA Chargers’ home game.
My host for the night was Mr. Artis Twyman, Vice President of Communications for the LA Rams. He is one of the absolute sweetest, most down-to-earth guys I have ever met!
Artis also has a truly impressive resume which, after seeing him in action, comes as NO surprise. He personally escorted me everywhere and shared his personal background (this is his 21st season with the Rams) all while maintaining his 18-hour game-day duties!
Thank you, Artis!!!!
Press Box Coverage
The press box is just an all-around interesting place to be. Watching the different types of media specialists cover the game, each had his or her own way, style, and method. Including myself.
Furthermore, the food was fantastic!
Post-Game Press Conference
With about 3-5 minutes left in the 4th, my phone rings. It was Artis asking me to meet him at the tunnel entrance to the field. Immediately, with my credentials still securely hanging from the belt loop of my white skinny jeans, I went directly there.
I entered the field with Artis and walked the endzone while the game was still in play (on the opposite side)! There’s a video of this…I couldn’t help myself. 🙈 We were on our way to the post-game press conference room.
Once the game was over, I went into the post-game press conference room to watch Head Coach Sean McVay comment on the game. Unfortunately, the Rams lost to the Chargers.
Post-Game LA Rams Locker Room
From there, we moved straight into the locker room where a Rams frenzy was taking place. Basically, some were changing, others were being interviewed at their lockers, and some gave interviews as they walked out for the evening.
What a truly amazing night. Thank you to Les Snead, Artis Twyman, and the Los Angeles Rams for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While I’m a travel journalist at heart, I’m a true lover of the game and am honored, thankful, and grateful to have had this experience!
Now, go out there and bring that Lombardi back to the Los Angeles Rams!
And there you have my literal play-by-play of my extraordinary experience. My private SoFi Stadium tour, press box coverage of a preseason game, and a rare pregame sideline interview with Les Snead, the General Manager of the Los Angeles Rams, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. One I’m truly grateful for and will go down as one of the top travel experiences of my life!
‘Til next time…