INGLEWOOD, Calif. –– The aerial photos taken by fans and professionals offer a glimpse of SoFi Stadium's scale, but if you want even better perspective, allow one of the more than 3,200 workers currently on-site to provide it.
"What's been amazing about this project is just the sheer size of every component," Dan Schmitt, senior project manager, roof structure for the Rams' future home, told theRams.com during an exclusive tour in September. "Everything's bigger, everything's better."
Schmitt has a wide range of examples to cite and sample from, having assisted in the construction of some of the most well-known college and professional football basketball stadiums in the United States as well as large civic and aviation structures.
Prior to this job, he focused on Pac 12, SEC and Big Ten stadiums, both new ones and renovations. Among his professional sports projects, Schmitt has had a hand in Fiserv Forum and Levi's Stadium.
Fiserv Forum, home of the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, occupies 724,000 square feet in downtown Milwaukee. Levi's Stadium, home of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers covered 1.85 million.
By comparison, SoFi Stadium will span more than 3 million square feet upon its scheduled completion next summer – slightly bigger than the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium, which spans a total of 3 million square feet.
"The scale of this stadium is really unlike any previous stadium built," Schmitt said. "So your eyes are always going to be tracking around in amazement, something else, something else, some structural element that's just large."
One of those elements likely to capture your attention: A 70,000 square foot oculus display that will hang from the roof.
Held up by a 76-foot tall cable net, here's how the massive 4K video board breaks down:
- The cable net – whose use at SoFi Stadium will be a first for one in the United States – weights 1,800 tons or 3.6 million pounds.
- The oculus checks in at 2 million pounds – 1 million for the steel structure, the other 1 million collectively between the video board, speakers and other materials.
- In total, the entire cable net and oculus weighs about 5.6 million pounds.
Schmitt said logistics also fall into the bigger category, as the large construction crew works on a "300-acre puzzle" in the middle of Los Angeles.
"It always seems like, even if you have the biggest site, we take up every square inch of the 300 acres," Schmitt said. "So it's been really interesting, both a challenge and exciting, to work with all the other teams on the site logistics, crane roads. We still have earth movers driving around, scraping up earth for the parking lot work, and they've been here since Day 1 for the mass excavation."
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Under Schmitt's supervision, the crew is scheduled to start building the oculus this month. It is expected to be completed by the end of the year, then the video board will get installed. The rest of the stadium is projected to follow by the summer of 2020.
Between the people and the parts, SoFi Stadium is a massive undertaking – one with, in addition to its sight lines, size and features unlike anywhere else.
"You're always just amazed," Schmitt said. "You turn left, you turn right, you're always looking, there's always something new or bigger that hasn't been done on previous projects."