MLS expansion side Los Angeles FC is not scheduled to open play until 2018 but work is underway building the foundation for the club.
Co-managing owner Bennett Rosenthal and MLS commissioner Don Garber along with LAFC’s star-laden 27-person ownership group, including part-owners Will Ferrell and Magic Johnson, were on hand for the ground breaking of the new 22,000-seat soccer-specific stadium, Banc of California Stadium at the L.A. Sports Arena.
“We want to make the soccer experience great,” Johnson told Los Angeles Daily News at the event. “This stadium will provide jobs in the community and we want to put out the best team possible. Soccer is booming right now and we want to be the best in MLS.”
Rosenthal used the occasion to show more detailed plans for the facility that includes a public plaza, year-round restaurants and stores. The stadium is the first open-air stadium in the city since Dodger Stadium was built in 1962. It is located next to the LA Memorial Coliseum. The complex is designed by LA-based architectural firm Gensler
The routine golden shovel ground breaking was taken to a higher level with members of the Black Army 1850 and Lucky Boys Supporters Groups bringing the passion of game day to the event.
Ferrell helped fuel the excitement saying at the event, “We will go undefeated in our inaugural season. I don’t know how hard that is to do, but we have a pretty good chance. And if not, you can come up and tackle me in the parking lot, OK?”
The naming rights are reported by Bloomberg to be $100 million over 15 years.