SoFi Stadium

Waterproofing a Sports & Entertainment Complex in Inglewood, California

by Ali Turner, editorial & multimedia manager

SoFi Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers, is the first indoor-outdoor stadium to be constructed and is currently the NFL’s largest, at 3.1 million sq.ft.  The $5 billion stadium can seat a maximum of 100,000 guests, and includes 12 club spaces, a 6,000-seat performance venue, a 2-1/2 acre covered outdoor plaza, and a dual-sided elliptical video board with integrated sound system.  SoFi stadium utilizes a unique single-layer ethylene tetrafluoroethylene roof, which is a highly transparent extruded film that is just 1% the weight of glass.  The massive venue is truly a one-of-a-kind stadium, thanks in large part to the materials that were used to build it. 

         One challenge surrounding the project was the physical proximity of the stadium to nearby Los Angeles International Airport.  Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements demand that all construction equipment and infrastructure be built under strict height requirements so as not to impede upon the surrounding airspace.  One way to appease the FAA was to lower the field 100’ beneath ground level. 

         While the mass excavation project and field lowering solved the height restriction set by the FAA, it was also the subject of another challenge on the jobsite.  During construction, Los Angeles was privy to an unusually heavy winter rainfall, which delayed the construction of the stadium.  While other parts of the stadium could have undergone construction during rainfall, the sheer magnitude of the dirt removal site proved to be too risky.  Originally scheduled for a 2019 opening, these heavy rains delayed the opening to the following year.

         American Hydrotech’s flagship product, Monolithic Membrane 6125® (MM6125), was used for 80,000 sq.ft. of between-slab waterproofing.  MM6125 is a thick, tough, flexible, self-healing membrane for use in waterproofing, and is made of a special formulation of refined asphalts and synthetic rubbers.  Ideal for all types of horizontal and vertical structures, such as stadiums, it is a leading choice of architects, engineers, and building owners across the West and nationwide.  MM6125 can be used a on a variety of flat projects, and is an ideal choice for surfaces that require durable, long-lasting waterproofing.

         One of the reasons MM6125 has an unbeatable track record is that it is only permitted to be installed by trained and authorized American Hydrotech installers.  On SoFi Stadium, that responsibility was given to Courtney, Inc., Irvine, California, a roofing and waterproofing contractor for new and restoration projects.  For this mixed-use venue, Courtney, Inc., installed American Hydrotech hot rubber on all exposed walking pathways, and it was the primary waterproofing system at the concourse levels and planters.

         “We like American Hydrotech’s hot rubber because it is a great, quality waterproofing product,” expressed Reid Everett, president, Courtney, Inc.  “They don’t add any modifiers or fillers, so it is an extremely clean product to lay down.  Also, the service that we receive from American Hydrotech’s reps is fantastic.”

         BrightView, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, was the landscape contractor, and Studio MLA, Los Angeles, California, was the landscape architect.  BrightView installed approximately 500 sq.ft. of GardNet® assembly and LiteTop® growing media from American Hydrotech® adjacent to the stairs and VIP suites at SoFi Stadium.  American Hydrotech’s innovative GardNet option gives sloped roofs the ability to be transformed into green roofs.  GardNet allows architects and designers to envision and install green roof applications in places they never could before. 

         Additionally, LiteTop growing media allows plants to thrive in rooftop applications.  American Hydrotech custom blends each LiteTop application based on the physical, nutritional, and biological requirements of the different types of plants selected by the designer.  The specifications for each custom-blended growing media takes into account optimal ranges for blend texture, weight, water and air holding capabilities, drainage, physical and chemical characteristics, and biological activity. 

         Now, thanks to American Hydrotech, two NFL teams have a reliable, waterproofed, below-ground stadium to enjoy in Inglewood.  For a project as large and high profile as this, everyone involved needed to rely on high-quality products that will withstand high-traffic use for decades.  SoFi Stadium and its millions of yearly visitors benefit greatly from the proven track record of American Hydrotech’s products and its expert installers. 

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