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For the FIFA World Cup 2026, SoFi Stadium will expand the field size and include retractable corner seats

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<p>Renovations to expand the playing field area of SoFi Stadium will start on Monday in anticipation of the stadium hosting eight World Cup matches in 2026.</p>
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<p>According to Kevin Demoff, the chief operations officer of the Los Angeles Rams, the work entails substituting the lower bowl’s concrete corners with retractable bleacher risers for use during soccer matches.</p>
<p>The modifications should allay concerns raised over the years by different soccer organizations over the size of the soccer fields that may be accommodated within the stadium. The stadium was mainly built to accommodate two NFL teams on the smaller field used for American football.</p>
<p>Demoff said on Sunday, “It’s really just switching out the pre-cast concrete in the stadium’s corners for a more retractable system.” “We’ll have the exact same format, layout, and seating capacity. The sole distinction will be that some of the corner rows will have retractable seats instead of fixed seats.</p>
<p>Despite a last-minute plea by the Los Angeles host committee and the stadium, SoFi Stadium was not granted the World Cup final in the schedule that FIFA released on Sunday. However, Inglewood Stadium will play a significant role in the competition, particularly as the site of the opening game and two of the three group play matches for the U.S. men’s national team.</p>
<p>The stadium will hold five total preliminary-round games. On July 10, 2026, there will be a quarterfinal, two round-of-32 knockout matches, and another round of matches.</p>
<p>“We’re proud to have the opening match for the United States, as it was always our goal,” said Chris Klein, a former member of the U.S. national team and co-chair of the local host committee. “We’re really proud of the historic soccer culture in Los Angeles and all the historic matches that have taken place here, and we hope to continue that with our team at this crucial juncture for the sport in this country.”</p>
<p>The multibillion-dollar stadium project’s development is expected to be finished by May, in time for June Copa America matches and even an Arsenal exhibition later in the summer. The World Cup owner Stan Kroenke, who also owns the Rams, Arsenal, and the NBA champion Denver Nuggets, will finance the upgrades, which will remain in place for next soccer competitions.</p>
<p>For the World Cup, SoFi’s customary artificial turf will be replaced with a makeshift grass pitch. On its normal field, the stadium has previously played home to soccer matches, notably Mexico’s victory in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final last year.</p>
<p>FIFA withheld the rationale for its ultimate decision, but the pitch’s narrowness had been often mentioned as a grievance against SoFi. Demoff dismissed such worries as unfounded and lamented the barrage of unfavorable press in previous years over the stadium’s dimensions and Kroenke’s alleged reluctance to carry out the necessary improvements.</p>
<p>“Over the past few years, a lot has been written about our venue and its capabilities, and none of it has been verified,” Demoff said. “The location was always intended to host the World Cup. We have always considered the World Cup while making the alterations to the stadium. It’s a rather simple remedy.</p>
<p>Demoff said that the goal of SoFi was always “to be the best NFL venue possible.” As the home of the Los Angeles Chargers and the Rams, the stadium hosts at least 20 NFL games annually. In February 2022, it was the scene of the Rams’ win in Super Bowl 56. In February 2027, there will be another Super Bowl held there, and the location will be important to the 2028 Olympics.</p>
<p>Only AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will host more matches overall than SoFi, despite the fact that the World Cup organizers in the Los Angeles region did not win the championship.</p>
<p>The co-chair of the LA host committee, Larry Freedman, said, “We never gave up, even though three months ago, everyone was writing articles saying that SoFi was out.” “In the end, we have the chance to showcase the men’s national team from the United States. The first game will undoubtedly be the focus of attention, and the third game (the US one) might perhaps be the most important one.</p>


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