The last time the Los Angeles area played host to a Super Bowl, Michael Jackson performed the halftime show and O.J. Simpson handled the coin flip.
In fact, the two centers of gravity in this season’s Super Bowl didn’t even exist back then: SoFi Stadium, where the game will be played, and L.A. Live, which along with the Convention Center will host the Super Bowl Experience, a week-long interactive football festival.
“We want it to feel like the Super Bowl is everywhere throughout that stretch, visually and through décor and other things,” said Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s executive vice president of club business and league events.
This marks the first time in NFL history that the league will stage its marquee event in a stadium that has had fans for only one season. It helps that SoFi is home to the Rams and the Chargers, so there are twice as many games in which to iron the wrinkles.
Naturally, a big point of emphasis will be effectively getting people to and from the game, and there’s going to be a push to use public transportation.
“There’s no parking on the street in Inglewood,” said Kathy Schloessman, president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission. “Don’t be thinking that you’re going to get here early and figure it out, driving your car down here. That’s our biggest concern about this Super Bowl, the transportation plan.”
Super Bowl LVI will be the eighth played in L.A. County, with two at the Coliseum (including the first) and five at the Rose Bowl.
“We’re using this game to drive attention to everything that’s happening with tourism and hospitality in Los Angeles, to remind people the city is open for business and it’s a safe place to go,” Schloessman said. “We’ve got all these great new venues to showcase.
“There will be 70,000 people at the game but there are millions of residents that we want to know that it’s here, and, more importantly, understand why it’s important to our city for economic impact.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.