Innovative, ultramodern SoFi Stadium ready to welcome NFL

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The playing field at SoFi Stadium, the future home for the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers NFL football teams, is shown Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. Stan Kroenke got permission to bring pro football back to Los Angeles because the Rams owner vowed to build an NFL palace and a West Coast hub for the league. Lavish, ultramodern SoFi Stadium certainly appears to live up to those promises as it opens its doors this week, even if fans can't enjoy it right away. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – When Stan Kroenke asked his fellow NFL owners for permission to return pro football to Los Angeles nearly a half-decade ago, he won them over by promising something nobody else could realistically deliver.

The Rams owner vowed to build a football palace.

The billionaire proposed a luxurious, massive new home for his NFL team, a landmark that would become the most important sports arena in North America's second-largest city for the next century. Kroenke dazzled his fellow multimillionaires with sketches of a strikingly unique stadium with a surrounding development that would become the NFL’s West Coast hub.

While the full scope of that $5 billion development is still years away from completion, the centerpiece of Kroenke's dream has come to vibrant life at the former site of the Hollywood Park racetrack.

SoFi Stadium appears to live up to all of Kroenke's promises as it prepares to open its doors Sunday night for its inaugural event: the Rams' season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

“Every time I’m in there, there’s some aspect, some design element that’s just overwhelming,” Rams general manager Les Snead said. “It seems like it’s a hologram. I don’t know what they’ve done, but it’s overwhelming. You feel like you’re in a video game or something.”

From its translucent roof to the largest video board ever built, from the acres of luxury seating and the endless accompanying amenities up to the 100,000th chair in the top row, SoFi Stadium has everything.

Except fans. For now, anyway.