Industry News

LAFC tap into pub culture with stadium bar

Banc of California Stadium, the future home of Major League Soccer expansion franchise Los Angeles FC (LAFC), is set to feature a bar overlooking the pitch in a move designed to enhance the game-day experience for supporters.

Banc of California Stadium, which will have a capacity of 22,000, is currently being built ahead of LAFC’s entry into MLS next year.

One of the features of the venue will be a bar that will provide views both of the pitch and downtown LA, with fans having been consulted during the design process.

Sal Reyes, of Lucky Boys, one of the LAFC supporters groups involved in the design process, said, according to the MLS Soccer website: “Straight up, we’re targeting the European supporter. For the visitors who come to see the other sights, like the museums, the stadium and bar will become a tourist attraction.”

Suggestions for the bar include local craft beers and the inclusion of LAFC supporter group scarves in the design.

The bar is being designed by architecture firm Gensler, whose principal architect Jonathan Emmett said: “The notion of having a bar with a view of the pitch took inspiration from more traditional US sports. What they want is to not have to leave the game experience to go hang out at the bar and have a drink.”

He continued: “We conceived something that’s going to feel very authentic for the fans and not just feel like another sponsor bar in a stadium. You are almost more of a participant in the game as opposed to being a spectator.”

Reyes added: “You always get the sense that supporters of European clubs look at the MLS and say, ‘You’re just not there yet, maybe in another 10 years.’

“We’re all just trying to grow the game in the US, so let’s make this simple: let’s have a pint.”

LAFC announced earlier this year that Banc of California Stadium would feature a safe-standing area.

Image: LAFC