Dec 10, 2020 - Sports

Most expensive stadium ever built could finish NFL season without hosting a fan

Picture of SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles

Photo: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The perfect coda for 2020: The most expensive stadium ever built could conclude its first NFL season without hosting a single fan.

Why it matters: SoFi Stadium in L.A. was supposed to be a Mecca for fans. Instead, it's the most beautiful $5 billion placeholder money can buy.

The big picture: This season was set up to be one of the league's biggest, with a glut of marketable stars, two new stadiums (L.A.; Vegas) that put the term "state-of-the-art" to shame and a 2019 ratings spike that portended good things to come. Then, the coronavirus hit.

  • While the pandemic — or the fact that stadiums are still mostly empty — is certainly not the league's fault, its bungled response along the way has only highlighted the contrast between those sky-high expectations and the reality of this season unlike any other.
  • And tonight's game, a Super Bowl LIII rematch between the rallying Patriots and first-place Rams that doubles as SoFi's final primetime game of the year, serves as yet another stark reminder of just how good we could have had it if things had broken right.

Yes, but: For all the challenges and missteps along the way, here we are just four weeks shy of the playoffs with 32 teams who've completed their full slate of games.

The bottom line: You may not be able to visit this breathtaking stadium in person yet, but that video board still looks pretty incredible on TV (8:20pm ET, Fox).

Go deeper: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight

Go deeper