Major League Soccer’s newest venue opened yesterday (Sunday) as Los Angeles FC defeated Seattle Sounders 1-0 in the first match at the 22,000-seat Banc of California Stadium.
Laurent Ciman’s stoppage time goal secured the three points for LAFC at the ground, which becomes the second soccer-specific stadium in Los Angeles, joining LA Galaxy’s StubHub Center.
As the LA Times newspaper notes, Banc of California Stadium is the first open-air stadium to be built in the city since 1962, when Dodger Stadium was constructed.
The stadium has been built at a cost of $350m and is located on the site of the former Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. LAFC’s has a 15-year naming-rights deal in place with Banc of California for the stadium, which also bucks something of a trend in MLS by being both downtown and soccer-specific.
LAFC’s ownership group includes high-profile names such as actor Will Ferrell, former NBA basketball star Magic Johnson and US women’s soccer legend Mia Hamm.
MLS is set to welcome its latest new stadium in the coming months with the opening of Audi Field, the new home of D.C. United. Allianz Field, Minnesota United’s under-construction stadium, is due to open next year.