After a two-year absence, Global superstars BTS are returning to Southern California with a triple-play appearance at three venues in Inglewood for their Permission to Dance tour beginning this weekend.
Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook are opening their first of four concerts Saturday, Nov. 27 at SoFi Stadium (next shows are Nov. 28, Dec. 1-2), accompanied by special live broadcasts of the concerts each night at the YouTube Theater. Then On Dec. 3., the group will cap off their historic run with an appearance at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball at the Forum.
The multi-show, multi-venue run is a first for Inglewood and SoFi Stadium at Hollywood Park, the new home of Stan Kroenke’s Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, as well as the Los Angeles Chargers, which leases SoFi Stadium for the team’s regular season home games.
In total, Hollywood Park includes 300 acres (about half the area of Central Park in New York City) of development and three venues under one rooftop canopy – SoFi Stadium, a large-open air plaza and the 6,000-seat YouTube Theater. Jason Gannon, a longtime Kroenke Organization executive, is Hollywood Park’s managing director and Christy Castillo Butcher is SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park’s svp of programming and booking. Butcher previously served as an svp at the AEG-owned Staples Center and Microsoft Theater.
YouTube Theater is booked exclusively by Live Nation regional president for California Rich Best. Kroenke, the Rams owner and chairman, is a 74-year-old Missourian who sits atop an empire built through extensive commercial property development, private enterprise and ownership of sports teams including the Denver Nuggets (NBA), the Colorado Avalanche (NHL), the Colorado Rapids (MLS) and Arsenal F.C. of the Premier League. His wife Ann Walton is an heir to her billionaire father, Walmart co-founder Bud Walton, who passed away in 1995.
“First and foremost, this is Stan Kroenke’s vision to build a global sports entertainment destination right here in the heart of Los Angeles,” Gannon said of the privately financed $5 billion, 3.1-million-sq-ft sports and entertainment center. The building’s opening in September 2020 was the result of a six-year campaign to bring professional football back to Los Angeles that began with the purchase of a 60-acre parking lot near the Hollywood Park horse racing track in 2014. In 2016, NFL owners approved the relocation of the Rams to Los Angeles over a competing bid from the Oakland Raiders and the Chargers.
The result is a striking stadium designed by Dallas architect firm HKS, the stadium’s exterior is drawn along swooping lines honoring searing curves of the California coast, while the asymmetrical roof uses a transparent series of polymer fluorine-based plastic panels that provide clear sunlight and protection from the elements. The stadium is open and breezy, with winds entering SoFi Stadium through 38 massive blade columns that support the building.
Gannon says SoFi Stadium utilizes an “indoor outdoor” design that takes advantage of Southern California’s unique climate.
Inside, a massive, a 120-yard halo-shaped “Infinity Screen” hangs over the field, creating an illusion of visual perspective that highlights SoFi Stadium’s sheer size.
“The bowl itself is very intimate,” explains Gannon, noting that the field is 100 feet below street level – fans enter at level six on the building’s east side. “It’s very vertical, and while the building itself is the largest building in the NFL, the vertical design gives SoFi Stadium incredible site lines.”
The 70,000-seat building will soon welcome its one millionth guest, thanks to the NFL, a concert by Mexican icons Los Bukis, an opening night performance by Kaskade and DeaMau5 and two Rolling Stones concerts that grossed $18.9 million with 81,700 tickets sold, according to Billboard Boxscore. Those two concerts are currently the top-grossing shows of 2021, according to Boxscore, but could be surpassed by BTS’s four gigs. The last time BTS played Los Angeles, they grossed $16.7 million with two shows in 2019 at the Rose Bowl in front of 113,000 fans.
Gannon says he envisions artists building their careers at Hollywood Park, and notes that both YouTube Theater and SoFi Stadium can be scaled down for smaller events — in May, SoFi Stadium played host to Global Citizen’s VAX Live event, a 30,000-person concert.
“There are a couple of different configurations that play well into the stadium, depending on what the artist and the promoter is looking for,” explains Castillo Butcher. That can mean curtaining the upper levels of the stadium or utilizing an end-stage configuration.
For Live Nation, the opening of the YouTube Theater represents a new opportunity to program indoor shows at the 4,000 to 6,000-seat capacity, explains Best, who notes the company has been without a venue of that size since the closure of the Gibson Amphitheater in 2013.
“I think the hope all along was that we could align ourselves with the right partners and work together on something really special and unique,” Best says. While the two venues were similar in size, the “YouTube Theater feels much closer to the stage,” Best said, designed in a way that shortens the sight lines.
“We’re really rounding the corner into an exciting period of time in music,” says Best as he goes through the venues calendar including Christian Nodal on Dec. 3, Black Pumas on Dec. 17 and G Herbo on Dec. 30.
Gannon says he plans to bring music to many different parts of Hollywood Park, noting “throughout the district, especially if you look at our retail opportunities and the unique spaces and places that we have, there are plenty more options for intimate shows,” within the 300-acre mixed residential and commercial Hollywood Park development. A hotel for the site will be announced soon.
Beyond commercial space, Hollywood Park is home to more than 25 acres of park space including a six-acre man-made lake, which “not only is a place-making feature, but plays an important sustainability role within the project,” Gannon notes.
Each feature is meant to celebrate Inglewood as a growing community that will be the future home of the new Clippers arena, the Intuit Dome, which opens in 2024.
“The experience of coming to Inglewood and Hollywood Park, with the Forum to the north, the future Clippers arena to the south and all-encompassing property with hotels and retail is very exciting,” says Butcher. “There really is something for everyone.”