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What to prepare for if you’re going to SoFi Stadium: Parking, concessions, and navigating a $5 billion sports complex

The Rams are playing in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium!

LA Rams Arizona Cardinals NFL Playoffs Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game on Sunday and will also get to stay home to face the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl.

Fittingly, the Rams’ fits has drawn praise from nearly every testimonial I’ve heard from somebody who has attended an NFL game at SoFi Stadium during its short run so far. Practically everyone I’ve talked to has said the same thing: “This place is really cool.”

Stan Kroenke’s vision for a $5 billion sports complex and shopping park has every stadium feature you may come to expect in 2022, from the immense video board indoors for fans at the game to the immense video board on the roof for fans flying into LAX. However, SoFi Stadium, for all its glitz and glory, remains in the beta testing phase in many respects, just six months after the digs first welcomed fans in to watch football games.

The issue of hosting a conference championship game and a Super Bowl (with or without the Rams) during the team’s trial run with fans in attendance is that Kroenke and COO Kevin Demoff must also take their lumps on a worldwide stage, in addition to getting their fist bumps for a job well done on the design of SoFi and the enjoyment of watching football when you’re in your seat.

But what about when you’re getting to the stadium? What about when you’re parking near the stadium? What about when you’re trying to get to your seat and navigating the stadium? What about when you’re in your seat but you want to get a drink or a bite to eat?

These are no easily answered questions because SoFi Stadium has only ever hosted eight regular season Rams games, nine regular season Chargers games, and one playoff game up until the NFC Championship. Two season ticket holders—one Rams, one Chargers—issued their personal experiences with the 2021 season and the three most-frustrating problems facing attendance at SoFi Stadium.

If you’re attending a game at SoFi, whether it is the Super Bowl or another event, hopefully this helps prepare you for the worst so that you can enjoy the game at its best.

What you will find below:

  • HOW TO GET TO SOFI STADIUM
  • HOW TO PARK AT SOFI STADIUM
  • HOW TO RIDESHARE TO AND FROM SOFI STADIUM
  • COVID POLICIES AND TESTING AT SOFI STADIUM
  • HOW TO GET AROUND SOFI STADIUM
  • HOW TO FIND FOOD, DRINK AT SOFI STADIUM
  • EVERY SOFI STADIUM-RELATED WEBSITE OF IMPORTANCE

Planning to get to SoFi Stadium

If you’re headed to SoFi, check out TheRams.com’s page on the stadium for more information. Here is a general recommendation for parking at SoFi Stadium, with the Rams’ site suggesting you plan to get there as much as five hours prior to kickoff, with all parking lots opening four hours prior to kickoff.

Here’s what that means for the NFC Championship:

Fans will be let into the stadium beginning at 1:30 PM PT and there will be a rally towel giveaway for the NFC Championship.

Driving to SoFi Stadium

Traffic is one of the things that people talk about when they talk about Los Angeles, so it would be a good idea to plan this out as much as possible and to find public transportation when possible. I was not easily able to find driving tips on the Rams’ website, but did find it on the Chargers’ website. Good thing they use the buddy system.

These are the “Blue Zone Directions” but keep in mind that Blue is just one of NINE zones so click on the website if you want more specific details or other directions for different colored zones.

Here is what the BLUE ZONE looks like:

But if you are parking in the PURPLE ZONE it would look like this:

There is also RED, YELLOW, PLATINUM, PINK, ORANGE, GREEN, and BROWN. It is the PINK ZONE, the one closest to Century Blvd, that will open one hour earlier than the other zones.

You can use WAZE from your computer to navigate your estimated driving time to SoFi Stadium before you leave.

UBER, LYFT, RIDESHARE DROP-OFF and PICK-UP

According to the Hollywood Park website, “Guests using rideshare services, taxi, limo, buses and shuttles may be dropped off on the north curbside lane on Kareem Court. Drivers should access Kareem Court via westbound Pincay Drive and follow traffic control instructions.”

That puts you near LOTS C and D, the closest to The Forum, and NORTH OF SOFI STADIUM.

It appears that pretty much the same is true if you are using public transportation to get to and from SoFi Stadium, look for the “northside curb lane on Kareem Court.”

COVID-19 testing and vaccination check

On-site COVID testing will be available for $59 per test. Masks are required unless eating or drinking. Fans must show proof of vaccination or proof of negative test, along with a photo I.D., so don’t leave home without it.

Parking at SoFi Stadium

Now we start to get into some of the issues you may face when you get to SoFi Stadium. Here is what our two season ticket holders said they had frustrations with in regards to parking this season.

Problem: Parking

“Personally I’ve opted for reserved on campus parking, in the Orange Lot. I have a young child so this was a must. So I can’t vouch first hand on how problematic outside parking is but I’ve experienced other stadiums, mainly the LA Coliseum during Rams games and after trial and error there, we began regularly opting for paid parking in the USC structures.”

The Orange Lot is one by the rideshare area. Here’s a pin dropped to it.

“The parking at SoFi is arguably the worst in the industry. As a season ticket holder, I am issued a parking pass that has an assigned parking spot due to the inventory system of ticketmaster. This system could easily be implemented because each lot is labeled with rows, and numbers. However due to the poor communication the traffic is bottlenecked, parking leadership has no idea what is going on, and the construction on site has created an additional layer of confusion as not all areas are appropriately labeled.”

“Construction on site” is an undeniable and clear example of how SoFi Stadium remains in beta mode with the SUPER BOWL on deck. Here are two solutions offered by the season ticket holders.

Solution: Implementing and/or abiding by the issued parking spot.

Solution: Reserved on site parking.

The Hollywood Park website does have a MASSIVE webpage about parking at SoFi Stadium. It is a must read if you are going to the stadium for the first time.

Some notes:

  • Inglewood offers an off-site parking and shuttle to the stadium. Reserve a space here.
  • For busses, take the Metro C line and exit at Hawthorne/Lennox station. Metro offers a shuttle express to the stadium on game days.
  • Click here for off-site parking.
  • Tailgating: There is a long list of rules and what to know with regards to tailgating—too long for me to repost—so go to the website and read it if you’re tailgating.

Be sure to know what lot you are reserved to park in before you leave, head directly to that lot, and follow any posted signs until you reach that lot. It sounds as though from these personal experiences that the issue is that there are not enough people working at the lots to help people find their zones and this is creating massive traffic jams and bottlenecking for people hoping to park their cars so they can get to the game.

Perhaps there will be more staff for these next two events.

Navigating SoFi Stadium

Getting around SoFi Stadium in its first season of existence for fans to enjoy may be the biggest issue our two season ticketholders had with the experience.

Problem: Touring the concourse / stadium

“I’m in section 303 corner end zone mid level. I’ve always enjoyed circumventing the stadium through the concourse as a way to take in or tour the stadium as part of game day. Check out the food options, stores, etc. This was a fun part of the LA Coliseum as well. As far as I can tell, that isn’t possible at SoFi. The middle sections are cut off by restricted access. So it doesn’t seem possible or straight forward to take a lap around the stadium on the concourse. It seems we are limited to our quadrant of the stadium once in the gates. That seems strange to me.”

The concern was similar for the Chargers season ticketholder.

“The navigation of the stadium is also abysmal. The stadium has 6 levels. They descend from the 500 level, to field level. I am a season ticket holder on the club level, level 200. I have encountered COUNTLESS issues with navigating the concourses of my level. I have been denied entry into the Corona club, or told to walk a half mile around the stadium to access certain amenities, or get certain concessions. This has produced a variety of inconsistencies and inconveniences that are unparalleled.”

Solution: Access management

Here are stadium maps from the Chargers site. Frankly, I’ve found their website to be a little easier to navigate for information and to get to the heart of what fans need, while the Rams site seems to still be a bit more about cool designs. Like this is neat but not exactly what I may need if I’m just looking to tour the concourse:

I’m not saying that the Rams site doesn’t have stadium maps, I’m just saying that on the Chargers website it only took me two seconds to find.

Here is a map of every level of SoFi Stadium.

Example of Level One:

Example of Level Eight:

Is Level Eight where I meet the Grandmaster?

Here is a map of all 12 entrances. Red is for VIPs.

Here is a map for RETAIL LOCATIONS.

This is all from the Chargers website. Why? It’s a few minutes later and I’m still not sure how to find a seating map from the Rams’ site. I click for Seating Map & Pricing and I get a “Contact Us” message.

Every stadium has people who have worked there since the beginning or the very early days, even the really old stadiums. Except maybe Soldier Field, which opened 100 years ago. But SoFi Stadium only opened last year so you can’t expect the people to work there to have the answers that would only come with many seasons of experience of having worked there. That’s why a clear website and navigation online would be so imperative to the Rams and Chargers, but this seems too confusing.

The Rams do have a “Know Before You Go” on how to GET TO YOUR SEATS section

Find your section here and then click on it and find your seats that way.

Here is a TICKETMASTER SEATING MAP for SoFi Stadium:

Here is a VIRTUAL VENUE seating chart.

SoFi Stadium LIVE STREAM CAM

If you want to get a sneak peek at how crazy SoFi Stadium is looking before you leave or on your mobile devices as you are arriving, there is a live stream cam showing multiple angles around the stadium and Hollywood Park, with a ton of potential info coming about the parking situation via these cams.

Eating and Drinking at SoFi Stadium

There were very public complaints made about the quality and pricing of concessions at SoFi Stadium last year, but all I’ll say about that is that if you expected to find a cheap, ridiculously good hot dog or nachos or any foot item at all at a pro sporting event—why?

However, I’m sure that SoFi would like to eventually pride itself on good food (it will NEVER be cheap, it will always be “too much” if you think it should cost the same as what food costs in the outside world) and the real issue for our two season ticketholders was simply availability.

Food and drinks can be a bit hard to find and there isn’t consistency with when and where something is available, or what it could be.

Problem: Specific Drink Availability/Concessions Consistency

“Not a huge problem and not uncommon, but while the concessions are conveniently closer to the seats than other stadiums, not all options are available at your closest concession stand. So depending what you’re after, you’ll likely still travel further than your nearest concession to find your specific drink or food.”

It’s hard to say what the solution could be for each fan specifically, it all depends on what kind of gameday experience you want to have. This may be something that only comes with the experience of going to many games over a period of time, just as it might take you numerous trips to a restaurant before you fully know what you like and what to avoid.

“The kicker of this all would be the inconsistencies within the menus and concessions. Depending on certain games, no idea of the rhyme or reason, certain concessions won’t be open, certain offerings are not available, and there is a lack of awareness from each concession on who has what offering. This creates a strange mixture of issues when food is the component used to settle down the crowd from a tough parking situation, and troubled stadium navigation. All these issues present a complex sporting experience, layered with emotions outside of the game.”

Solution: Scout and locate your vendor, hope for more future availability

At this time, there is practically no information available on the Rams or Chargers websites about concessions, food, and drinks and SoFi Stadium.

The website TheStadiumReviews.com has a list of some available concession food and where to find it, but it is unclear how out of date that information could be now. The site also mentions that fans are allowed to bring in one unopened 20 oz. bottle of water into SoFi Stadium, so if you want to save money on water, go do that!

There is also no smoking inside SoFi Stadium.

Help us update this list!

If there is any information that you find to be incorrect from personal experience, or something that you would like to add, or a question you would like to be answered, please add it to the comments section and I’ll continue to update this post as necessary. After all, the experience of going to SoFi Stadium is not something that is nearly defined yet—good thing it’s only the country’s biggest event of the year coming up on February 13th.