BMO Stadium – Los Angeles FC
Photos by Andrei Ojeda, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
BMO Stadium 3939 South Figueroa St Los Angeles, CA 90037
Year Opened: 2018 Capacity: 22,000
From L.A. to The O.C. (Los Angeles to Orange County), southland sports fans will never suffer from a shortage of teams to cheer for. With fans having a choice of two teams to cheer for in each major sport, as of this season, Major League Soccer fans throughout the southland will also have their choice of two teams to cheer for with the addition of the Los Angeles Football Club.
The first MLS game to take place in Southern California would take place at storied Rose Bowl in 1996. The L.A. Galaxy would call The Rose Bowl home until 2003 when they would move to more intimate settings at the Stubhub Center in the city of Carson. Throughout the early stages of the MLS, most teams often found themselves playing home games in front of sparse crowds at NFL venues. Banc of California Stadium, located on the spot formerly occupied by the Los Angeles Sports Arena, kicks off its inaugural season with a seating capacity of 22,000, all but securing a packed house for every contest. Banc of California Stadium is the first open-air professional sports venue to open in Los Angeles since Dodger Stadium in 1962.
Note: In early 2023, the name of the stadium changed to BMO Stadium.
Food & Beverage 4
Much of the dining options offer a local flair. Some of the items featured are The Srirach Beast Burger from the Beer Belly stand, Kalbi Pork from Seoul Sausage, Pita Nachos from The Roost, and a Brisket Sandwich from Bludso’s BBQ, a favorite among locals.
Domestic and premium adult beverages are available throughout several stands as well as Coca-Cola brand sodas.
One word…LOUD. From the moment you step inside L.A.’s newest outdoor sports venue, the atmosphere is at a fevered pitch as throughout the stadium fans are chanting and yelling long before the match begins. The crowd is a great mix of diehards and fans new to the sport, led by the 3252’s, LAFC’s Independent Supporters Union. From the pregame tailgates to the ninetieth minute, the passion runs non-stop as the fans show their never-ending passion throughout the match.
Located on the grounds of Exposition Park, in addition to pregame tailgating that is permitted along Christmas Tree Lane, the Natural History Museum, California African American Museum and the California ScienCenter are all located inside the grounds of Exposition Park. If you do plan to arrive early, it is possible to take in two of the three museums prior to taking in the match. Should you choose to visit two museums in the same day I would recommend visiting the California African American Museum first before visiting either of the other two museums.
Not far from the venue is a stretch along Figueroa Street known as The Figueroa Corridor. This stretch has revitalized a piece of Figueroa Street leading to Downtown L.A., lining the street with townhouses mostly geared to the students at nearby USC as well as various chain eateries.
Should you desire more than just your typical fast food selection, L.A. Live is only a 10-minute drive from Banc of California Stadium where you will find more variety ranging from casual to upscale dining.
If you should get the opportunity, sit, ahem, stand among The 3252 in the venue’s North End. The 3252 is comprised of a number of supporter groups that contribute greatly to the highly charged atmosphere throughout the venue. Though the 3252 are self-monitored, this passionate group of fans, perhaps the most passionate of all L.A. teams, makes no bones about their passion, encouraging flags, banners, drums and singing of the various groups rally songs. It is a party zone that while passionate and encouraging diversity while welcoming all types of fans, from the casual to the soccer novice and even kids, this party zone is not for the faint of heart. It is undoubtedly the loudest section in the venue and some of its traditions, particularly the 3252 Splash Zone, where beer and water throws are a proud tradition provided that cups, bottles, cans or other debris aren’t thrown.
The level of enthusiasm is felt throughout the venue as fans have quickly warmed to the LAFC, regularly filling the stands through each contest.
Banc of California Stadium is about three miles southwest of Downtown L.A. and can be easily reached by the 110 Freeway. The 110 can have some of the most daunting traffic throughout the week, however, the Metro has a light rail, the Exposition Line, that has a stop a short walk from the venue. The Expo Line can be accessed from points serving Santa Monica, L.A’s west side to Downtown. Metro also offers several bus lines that run through the surrounding area.
Unlike Rams or USC football games, because of the venue’s small capacity, parking for LAFC games is plentiful albeit pricey at $30. Pregame tailgating is limited to the area along Christmas Tree Lane.
Inside, the concourse runs throughout the entire venue allowing fans to walk around and explore the stadium’s vast dining options prior to the matchup or during breaks in the action.
Return on Investment 3
Like most organizations today the price to see a game at BOC Stadium is based on various factors, night of week, opponent. For a game against the L.A. Galaxy expect to pay a hefty price. Otherwise, ticket prices start at $20 for General Admission to as much as $147 for seats along the sideline.
When factoring in the cost of parking if opting to drive ($30) an LAFC outing can be on the steep side. With the first year success of the LAFC Soccer Club, the organization is wasting no time raising the season-seat prices for the 2019 season.
For a first year organization don’t expect too many extras such as a Wall of Fame of LAFC greats and other great moments. LAFC will develop its history inside BOC Stadium in due time.
BOC Stadium offers its share of premium club seating for the elite but the ultimate experience is really in the stands where all the energy is. If you have a chance, sit, or in this case stand, in the North End, and be a part of the atmosphere, regardless if you belong to any of the support groups.
As with any first year organization there’s a special connection among the fans and the team. Even with the premium areas offered to the high rollers, and in L.A., there are plenty of them, the excitement in the stands and particularly among the support groups is nothing short of electric. After an unfortunate incident in the stands earlier this season, the LAFC organization along with MLS has made it a point of emphasis to provide all fans the ultimate game day experience. The 3252’s have played a huge role as well in making all fans feel welcomed.
The LAFC fan base is a good variety of soccer diehards as well as newcomers to the sport. The LAFC Soccer Club has had a successful first season. Their success on the field, along with the excitement of a new franchise playing close to the heart of Los Angeles, can only help expand an already rabid fan base.