Located in the heart of Los Angeles, California, Exposition
Park is known today for its college football games, dinosaur exhibits, space
shuttle, sunken rose gardens, and the soon-to-be Banc of California Stadium,
home to the Los Angeles Football Club.
The Banc of California Stadium will be one of the
MLS’s top soccer-specific stadiums.
The new LAFC stadium will proudly serve as a
venue for the 2028 Olympics.
Beginning in 1872, Exposition Park, previously known as
Agricultural Park, was once home to an agricultural fair made up of local
farmers showcasing their prize livestock and produce. The park’s creators
encouraged the American landowners to take up farming, and by hosting an
exhibition space they sought to capitalize on the growth of commercial
agriculture. Urban growth began to surround the park, and the University of
Southern California (USC) opened its doors across the street in 1880. In 1908,
the state of California acquired the land, and on November 6, 1913, the site
reopened as Exposition Park, its neatly trimmed rose gardens concealing the
park’s rich past.
Today, Exposition Park is home to a variety of venues,
including the California Science Center, Rose Garden and the Los Angeles’
Memorial Coliseum, where the USC Trojans football team plays—and which is also
the temporary home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams. Many of these venues hosted
Olympic events in 1932 and 1984, including the Coliseum, where the opening and
closing ceremonies were held.
In the fall of 2016, the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
in Exposition Park was demolished to make way for the brand-new Banc of
California Stadium. Slated to open during the Los Angeles Football Club’s first
season in 2018, the venue will be one of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) top
soccer-specific stadiums. As the first open-air stadium built in Los Angeles
since Dodger Stadium, the 22,000-seat-venue will feature a state-of-the-art,
semi-transparent canopy; restaurants; a team store; two jumbo video
scoreboards; and premium seating options that include 35 suites, three private
clubs, a rooftop deck with a water feature, and a nightclub. With a 34-degree
seating bowl that is the steepest in MLS, the pitch will sit below street
level. Some seats will be as close as 12 feet from the touchline, with no seat
located more than 135 feet away from the field.
With the Banc of California Stadium currently under way, a
larger event is already on the minds of those in the Los Angeles Area—the 2028
Olympics. This will mark the third time that the Olympic Games will be held in
Los Angeles, after 1932 and 1984, and the new LAFC stadium will proudly serve
as an Olympic venue.
*All photos courtesy of Gensler.