LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles is quickly becoming the world’s most indispensable sports city and will begin an exciting new chapter when it hosts Sunday’s Super Bowl, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
The 56th edition of the NFL’s championship game at the new SoFi Stadium marks its return to the city for the first time in nearly three decades, a rapid turn of events for a city that did not even have a team six years ago.
“This is the culmination of football’s comeback in LA,” Garcetti told Reuters in an interview.
“It started with one and then suddenly two teams. And then the most glorious stadium ever built in sports history, and now the biggest show that there is.”
The Rams, who will represent the NFC on Sunday, returned to LA from St. Louis in 2016 and the Chargers moved north from San Diego soon after.
Rams billionaire owner Stan Kroenke was the driving force behind the building of the $5.5. billion SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, which opened in 2020 and has quickly become the beating heart for sports in the city.
“Everybody who goes into the stadium is wowed. It is such a unique space,” Garcetti said.
“It has the noise of an indoor stadium with the feel of outdoor. It’s bigger than anything you’ve ever been in, and the excitement it generates is more than almost any stadium I can remember being in.”
And it is slated to see plenty of action.
The College Football Playoffs will be held there next year, soccer World Cup games in 2026 will almost certainly be played there, the Super Bowl may return again in 2027, and it will serve as the stage for the 2028 Olympics opening ceremony.
Asked about the idea of LA being one of a handful of rotating cities along with London and Tokyo to host the Summer Games, Garcetti said he was open to the concept.
“The Olympics are so expensive that most cities lose money, whereas LA consistently makes money off of them,” he said.
“LA is ready to throw your party tomorrow. So maybe you want to avoid the headache of bids and subsidies and upset tax payers.
“LA is one of those cities where it actually does make sense, where it does make money and where it does produce jobs. So I would welcome that conversation.”
In the meantime, Garcetti said the city’s future is as bright as the sunny skies forecast for Sunday’s big game.
“I think we’re entering the next golden age of LA sports and entertainment,” he said.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Christian Radnedge)