Less than a year ago, the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams watched as the final piece of steel was hoisted into place in the seating bowl of the Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, topping out the steel structure of one of the most remarkable venues ever constructed.
But on Monday, a new milestone was celebrated as the teams and many members from their organizations were on hand to commemorate the completion of the outer shell of the iconic canopy that will sit above the stadium bowl, Champions Plaza and the performance venue.
The first part of the canopy shell was erected last August and weighed 2.2 million pounds. The final piece was laid seven months later.
"I think all of us are so fortunate that we're watching history being made," said Inglewood Mayor, James T. Butts Jr. "This must be somewhat reminiscent of the people who watched the Rose Bowl coming up, the Coliseum coming up, Dodger Stadium coming up. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and the people who are around right now, in five years when the topography of the city has changed, will say, 'I remember when it was all born.'"
"Seeing it here, and seeing it actually take shape with the roof line being finished off, it's a big step," added Chargers President of Business Operations, A.G. Spanos. "It's an exciting milestone, and to know that we're only a year-and-a-half away from playing football here, it's pretty exciting."
Monday was also a celebration of the over 3,000 workers who work on the site daily. It was beyond important to thank those who dedicate their time and effort to ensure the building remains on track to open in the summer of 2020.
"Today is definitely about the workers," Spanos reflected. "It's about the 3,000 people who put in the effort in making this amazing facility happen. It's a way of saying thank you to them…. This is the largest NFL stadium ever built; the most expensive stadium ever built. It's kind of awe-inspiring."
As of today, the stadium is over two-thirds complete. With the canopy shell now in place, the structure looks more like a stadium than ever before. And soon, more landmark pieces to the project will be put in place, bringing the extraordinary project to life.
"Later this summer, we'll have the cable net erected into place," mentioned Dan Schmitt, Senior Project Manager of Structures. "Then this fall, we'll start placing the ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) coil fabric that will be the material spanning over the roof (canopy) to finish the roof."
Monday's celebration was truly special, but also showed how close the project is to completion. It's only a matter of time before Chargers fans can take their seats inside the stadium, getting a unique and special NFL experience that's never been seen before.
"I've been doing sports projects for years and this one is definitely one of the most iconic projects out there," Schmitt said. "Just the architecture, the grand scale and all of the different features…the architects went above and beyond…. Chargers fans are going to be very excited about this project. It's such a big stadium, but when they're sitting down on the field in the club seats, they'll (get to experience) the grandiose, large scale of this project."
The Chargers marked another milestone in the construction of our new home with the topping out of the outer shell of the iconic canopy that will sit above the stadium bowl, American Airlines Plaza and the performance venue.