RICH IN HISTORY
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 Nov. 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.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
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 underway, 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 LA, after 1932 and 1984, and the new LAFC stadium will proudly serve as an Olympic venue.