Rams, Chargers engage in LASED stadium media tour

Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District at Hollywood Park
Los Angeles Rams Chief Operating Officer (COO) Kevin Demoff (right) speaks to reporters during a media tour of the Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District at Hollywood Park construction site on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

INGLEWOOD, CA-The sight of the Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District (LASED) at Hollywood Park is going to be a sight to behold. By the time 2020 roll around, the year that both the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams will have permanently made Inglewood their official home, the state-of-the-art facility will no doubt be a wonder to see.

For members of the media who have been fortunate enough to get an up close view of the mammoth architectural structure through the medium of several media tours, including on Tuesday, Sept. 18, the perfect verbiage to be used would be jaw-dropping.

Representatives from the Rams (Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff) and Chargers (President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos; President of Football Operations John Spanos) came along for the tour as well. The monstrosity of the future home to Super Bowl LVI in 2022, the 2023 College National Championship, and 2028 Olympics, cannot be understated.

It’s huge, a behemoth of a structure that will house world-class sports and entertainment for generations to come. The specs alone tell the story. By the time the construction wraps up, the stadium will measure more than three million feet. Support for the stadium’s roof canopy will require erected columns filled with 15,000 tons of reinforcement steel. The stadium’s structural retaining wall has 1,108 miles of steel straps. And instead of being built on the ground, the stadium’s playing field is actually 100 feet below the surface.

Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District at Hollywood Park
Los Angeles Chargers President of Football Operations John Spanos (right) at the construction site of the Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District at Hollywood Park on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

“I was here knocking down Hollywood Park racetrack five years ago and now I’m back,” said site foreman Keith Booker.

How big is this LASED project? Well, the undertaking of the stadium has required the availability of the use of the Mammoet Demag CC 12600 crane, one of only three in the world, according to Booker. It took 238 trucks just to transport pieces of the crane to the LASED construction site. It then took two other cranes to help in assembling the Mammoet Demag CC 12600 crane.

The use of the Mammoet Demag CC 12600 crane is significant because in order for the first canopy steel to be lifted in place back in August, it took the use of this crane to raise up the 2.4 million-pound entity. Although there are 12 cranes at the construction site, the Mammoet Demag CC 12600 crane, which can lift up to as much as 5,000 tons, is the Alpha of the bunch.

“The roof structure is really unique because it’s one of its kind,” said Booker. “The roof is put on in sections, and we have one of the biggest cranes in the world here. It comes from the Netherlands. It’s unique. It’s humongous. That crane came here about four months ago…It’s called the Mammoet crane. It’s massive. It has to pick up a lot of weight. The roof structure is very heavy, and it comes in pieces. We pick up pieces every two weeks, so it’s a challenge.”

Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District at Hollywood Park
The Mammoet Demag CC 12600 crane is one of the world’s biggest cranes used in heavy lifting. The Mammoet Demag CC 12600 crane, one of three in the world, is being used at the construction site of the Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District at Hollywood Park. It took 238 trucks to transport pieces of the crane to the stadium site. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

Another challenge to such a large project facing crew members is safety, which Booker talked about at length. To get all this machinery and equipment going just about around the clock requires the use of a lot of manpower. As many as 3,000 people work on the project daily. Of that number, Booker said roughly 25 to 30 percent are local hires. Preaching safety is always at top of the priority list, said Booker.

“The safety factor…four million-man hours already, we have no casualties at all,” Booker said. “We have some nicks and bruises that go on, but for the most part, this is the safest job you’re ever going to find when you have a job of four and five billion dollars in magnitude and guys going home every day is what it’s all about. It’s a very safe job and very strenuous. It’s the safety team that makes sure everyone stays in line.”

When the project is finally completed in less than two years, it will be a 298-acre sports and entertainment marvel. LASED will have the capacity of seating as many as 70,240 people, which could be expanded to host 100,00 folks. That includes 260 luxury suites and 13,000 premium seating. And that’s not including a performance venue that will seat 6,000 people and will be situated next to the stadium.

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1301 Articles
Dennis is a news and sports photojournalist. Dennis has covered and written on issues such as civil rights, education, politics, and social justice. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Daily Breeze, Daily Press, Los Angeles Wave, Los Angeles Sentinel, and other media outlets. Dennis is currently the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and NCAA. Dennis is an alum and graduate of Howard University.

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