I recently completed an exclusive tour of the new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. Sofi Stadium is an amazing facility. It is spotless, very high-tech, and will be rocking in the fall. The most obvious unique aspect is that the field is sunken 100 feet into the ground. The least obvious aspect is more complicated and can affect the outcomes of games. Here is what it is and how it factors in.
One Secret Factor Of Sofi Stadium
At The 50 Yard Line
When I was at Sofi Stadium, standing at the 50-yard line and looking up at the amazing screen and tens of thousands of empty seats, I noticed a few details. It was surprisingly warm. I could feel the sun starting to heat up my skin even though I was underneath the massive glass ceiling. There was a slight breeze due to the massive fans circulating air throughout the stadium. Lastly, there was a dull roar of an airplane passing above.
Planes Determining Games
Sofi Stadium’s sunken field was designed to accommodate planes’ flight paths over the stadium en route to LAX International Airport. The plane’s sound was not loud enough to be heard over the screams of tens of thousands of fans but if they were quiet, the plane would be able to be heard as clear as day.
Crowds are quiet surprisingly often in games. They can be quiet when their team’s offense is on the field. They can be quiet when the kicker steps up for a big kick. They can be quiet when a shocking development occurs in stunned silence. They can also be quiet during a final act of desperation by their team.
“It is not a question of if it will happen, it is only a question of when.”
If the crowd gets quiet at the same time a plane flies overhead, the plane’s sudden, foreign sound could distract a quarterback throwing a ball or a kicker trying to nail a game-changing kick. It could happen in the same way that a batter or a golfer gets distracted mid-swing and whiffs.
To be clear, I am not saying this will happen every game or every once in a while. I am saying it is only a matter of time until it happens. Murphy’s Law dictates that what can happen will happen with enough repetition. The Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers will be playing around 17 games per season in this stadium. If the stadium is around for the next 100 years, there will be plenty of chances for this to happen, whether it is during the era of Justin Herbert and Matthew Stafford or not. It is not a question of if it will happen, it is only a question of when.