Discover more from The Morning Column presented by The Sporting Tribune
Comparing SoFi and Allegiant Stadium
Which stadium is better? SoFi Stadium or Allegiant Stadium? It depends on what you're into but if you haven't been to the two newest stadiums in L.A. and Vegas, add them to your bucket list.
👋🏽 Hello on a beautiful Monday and welcome to The Morning Column. Please subscribe if you haven’t done so already. It will be delivered to your inbox every weekday. To avoid the email ending up in your spam, social or promotion folder, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts. You can also email me there as well.
OK, let’s get to it!
1. 🏈 SoFi Stadium vs. Allegiant Stadium
Having gone to the first regular season games with fans for the Rams and Chargers at SoFi Stadium and the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium over the past week, the number one question I get is which one is better?
It’s a natural query but one that really isn’t fair. SoFi Stadium was built for close to $5 billion and Allegiant Stadium was built for close to $2 billion. Generally speaking, anything that costs 2½ times more, whether you’re comparing homes, cars or stadiums, is going to be at least slightly “better.” Allegiant Stadium is an amazing facility but SoFi Stadium is unlike anything that has ever been built. It’s the league’s first indoor-outdoor venue with the stadium bowl sitting under a canopy. It’s more of a translucent awning than a fixed roof that makes you feel as if you’re watching the game outdoors. The scoreboard is a 120-yard, double-sided oval which has the only 4k HDR video system. The place doesn’t seem real. During Sunday’s Cowboys-Chargers game, I tweeted that every photo I take of SoFi Stadium looks like an artist’s rendering of some futuristic building.
But the beautiful thing about SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas is they are separated by just 270 miles or a 45-minute flight or a four-hour drive. You can experience them both this season and decide which one you like better. If you do, here’s a quick check list of what to do:
SoFi Stadium: Lake Park
When you go to SoFi Stadium you should take the escalators or stairs up to the top level and do a lap around the place and just soak it all in. The food and drink lines up there move quickly and the view of The Forum across the street will bring back some great memories. But one of the best features of the stadium is actually outside. There is a 25-acre park that is open to the public from sunrise to sunset surrounding a 5.5-acre lake that Chargers fans have renamed Rivers Lake in honor of former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. The lake was actually inspired by the lake that used to sit in the middle of the old Hollywood Park racetrack.
Allegiant Stadium: Al Davis Memorial Torch
The first stop you must make when you go to Allegiant Stadium is the Al Davis Memorial Torch. It is the centerpiece of the Raiders’ new home and positioned next to a window with sweeping views of the Las Vegas Strip. The torch is surrounded by the aptly named Torch Bar and is nearby a stage with live music. (Ice Cube performed there during halftime of the Raiders’ opener and other musicians are slated to do so this season.) The area has plenty of tables and open space for fans who would rather stand and move around during the game.
SoFi Stadium: Orleans & York Deli
A lot has been made about the food options at SoFi Stadium but Orleans and York Deli on the third level is amazing and you can’t go wrong with either the Philly Cheesesteak or the Hot Link Po’boy. If you want to save some money you could also just go to the Orleans and York Deli five minutes from the stadium on Florence and enjoy your food at Lake Park before the game.
Allegiant Stadium: Prime Time Kobe Burger
There are some good options at Allegiant Stadium, which has BBQ Mexicana, Ferraro’s Italian Street Eats, FukuBurger, Graffitti Bao, Holstein’s and Spring Chicken by Yardbird but arguably the best item is the Prime Time Kobe Burger at Guy Fieri’s Tailgate Kitchen and Bar. It features smoked gouda, caramelized onion jam, aged parmesan and donkey sauce for $18.
SoFi Stadium: Michelada
This may sound cliché but the best thing to drink at SoFi Stadium is a Michelada. There weren’t any eye-popping signature drinks at the bars and you really can’t go wrong with a good Michelada on a 75-degree, sunny day in L.A.
Allegiant Stadium: Chucky
There are a few interesting options for $18 at the Torch Bar. There’s a “S&B Margarita” with Casamigos Tequila, Cointreau, lemon sours with a silver and black sea salt rim. There’s a “Bloody Fist Margarita” with Absolute Vodka, Diane’s Bloody Mary Mix and a Tajin rim. And finally, there’s the “Chucky,” which has Gentleman Jack whisky, apricot liqueur, lemon sour, pecan bitters and ginger beer.
SoFi Stadium: Hollywood Park Casino
There’s no way SoFi Stadium is going to compete with Allegiant Stadium when it comes to casinos but the remodeled Hollywood Park Casino is a solid place to go pregame or postgame, especially if you want to beat the traffic or wait out the traffic. There are 125 gaming tables and the Century Bar & Grill inside the Hollywood Park Casino is a solid place to grab an inexpensive bite or drink and watch the games.
Allegiant Stadium: Mandalay Bay or Luxor
If you’re staying, eating or playing at the Luxor or Mandalay Bay, the Hacienda Bridge provides an easy less than one-mile walk from the Las Vegas Strip to Allegiant Stadium pregame and postgame. The MGM, which owns both properties, has dubbed it “Stadium Walk” and sells tickets to the Bud Light Beer Garden where fans can eat and drink four hours before kickoff.
2. 🏀 Clippers break ground on $1 billion arena
On Friday, the Clippers broke ground on the Intuit Dome, their new $1 billion home in Inglewood. The arena will feature Courtside Cabanas, Backstage Bungalows, Halo Suites and The Wall.
3. 🏈 USC finds a new head coach and quarterback
USC fans knew they were getting a new coach when Clay Helton was fired last week and Donte Williams was named the interim head coach. What they weren’t expecting was also getting a new starting quarterback. After Kedon Slovis went down with an injured neck in the first quarter of last Saturday’s game against Washington State, freshman Jaxson Dart came in and reenergized the Trojans. He threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns as USC beat Washington State, 45-14, after trailing 14-0 in the second quarter. USC has scored five straight touchdowns and four third quarter touchdowns after not scoring a touchdown in the third period in seven of the previous eight games. Williams said Slovis and Dart would battle for the starting position this week going into Saturday’s game against Oregon State at the Coliseum but I think USC fans saw enough from Dart on Saturday and enough from Slovis this season to know who should be the USC’s starting quarterback moving forward.
4. 📸 Photo of the Day
5. 💵 Odds and Ends Powered by Bovada
Here are some odds from Bovada if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
6. 📆 Sept. 20, 2020: Lakers take 2-0 lead in West Finals
On this day last year, Anthony Davis hit a buzzer-beating, game-winning, three-pointer to give the Lakers a 105-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals. Davis yelled, “Kobe!” after hitting the shot on a night the Lakers wore their special “Black Mamba” uniforms. “We're representing him,” Davis told reporters after the game. “Especially in those jerseys. It's his jersey, one he created, and any time we put it on, we want to win.”
7. 🎂 Happy Birthday Henry Samueli
Happy birthday to Henry Samueli. The owner of the Anaheim Ducks is turning 67 years old today. Samueli bought the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim from the Walt Disney Company in 2003 for $75 million and three years later changed the name team name to the Anaheim Ducks. The team is now valued at close to $475 million. He also bought the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim and changed the name to the Honda Center. The changing of the team’s name and arena’s name came just before the Ducks became the first California team to win the Stanley Cup in 2007.
8. 🎟 Ticket Time Powered by StubHub
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game:
9. 📺 On The Air
6:30 p.m. – Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels – Bally Sports West
10. 📻 The Arash Markazi Show
On Friday’s show, we talked about the Clippers breaking ground on their new $1 billion arena in Inglewood and talked football with Jon Price.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show on The Mightier 1090 Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., following The Rich Eisen Show. The Mightier 1090 has the second strongest radio signal in North America and can be heard from “Baja to the Canadian Rockies.” You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
And please subscribe to The Morning Column at Substack. Please also consider supporting my colleagues at Substack (and former colleagues at ESPN and SI): Marc Stein, Henry Abbott, Chad Ford and Ethan Sherwood Strauss on the NBA, Molly Knight and Joe Posnanski on MLB, Ariel Helwani on MMA, Dan Rafael on boxing, Grant Wahl and Leander Schaerlaeckens on soccer, Chris Peters on the NHL and Peter Bodo on tennis.
That’s it for today. Talk to you tomorrow!