SoFi Stadium and the 8 Most Expensive Sports Venues in the World

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2022

SoFi Stadium and the 8 Most Expensive Sports Venues in the World

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    Kyusung Gong/Associated Press

    In an effort to attract marquee events, strengthen fan experiences and, well, keep everyone spending money, ownership groups often spare few expenses on a new stadium.

    Most recently, Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke poured $5.5 billion into SoFi Stadium. While that number shattered the previous record, SoFi is among a dozen other sporting venues that have surpassed $1 billion in construction costs.

    The NFL accounts for most of the priciest buildings, though two English soccer stadiums and one MLB park are also on the list.

    One important note: These are not inflation-adjusted numbers. The list is based strictly on reported dollar amount.

8. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

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    Located in north London, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium cost $1.3 billion to complete and opened in April 2019.

    Primarily, the venue hosts Premier League club Tottenham. After playing at White Hart Lane for more than 100 years, Spurs made a brief stop at Wembley Stadium before this venue's debut.

    The building was also specifically designed to host NFL matchups. Below a retractable grass surface is a synthetic turf field used for the NFL London games. To date, the venue has hosted four NFL contests, and two more games are scheduled for 2022.

7. AT&T Stadium

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    After spending nearly four decades in Texas Stadium, the Dallas Cowboys shifted to AT&T Stadium in 2009.

    With support from the city of Arlington, longtime Cowboys owner Jerry Jones organized the $1.48 billion project. Beyond being the home for the Cowboys, the stadium has since become a major destination for preeminent games and events.

    AT&T Stadium has hosted the 2010 NBA All-Star Game, Super Bowl XLV in 2011, the 2014 men's Final Four, the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship and WrestleMania 32 in 2016.

    Both the Big 12 Championship Game and Cotton Bowl are played annually at AT&T, as well.

T-4. Yankee Stadium

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    Next door to the iconic old venue, the New York Yankees unveiled the new $1.5 billion version of Yankee Stadium in 2009.

    Most memorably, the famed MLB franchise defeated the Philadelphia Phillies to win the World Series in that debut season. The stadium is also the primary home for MLS club New York City FC, which celebrated an MLS Cup championship in 2021.

    Additionally, the venue has been a part of college football's postseason lineup, hosting the Pinstripe Bowl since 2010. Maryland thrashed Virginia Tech 54-10 in the latest edition.

    In 2014, the NHL hosted two Stadium Series games at the ballpark.

T-4. Wembley Stadium

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    Relative to the other buildings on the list, Wembley Stadium is an outlier. No professional franchise is the main tenant; rather, England's national soccer teams call the 90,000-seat venue home.

    Still, the $1.5 billion stadium, which opened in 2007, has a variety of uses.

    In addition to major concerts, rugby and even boxing, Wembley hosted the first 15 NFL regular-season games played in London. Since the first matchup in 2007, the stadium has accounted for 23 of the 30 NFL contests, the most recent of which came in 2019.

    Also of note, Wembley housed the gold-medal matches for both men's and women's soccer during the 2012 Summer Olympics.

T-4. Mercedes-Benz Stadium

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    Built as the replacement for the Georgia Dome, Mercedes-Benz Stadium carried a $1.5 billion price tag and opened in 2017.

    Mercedes-Benz is most recognizable for its triangular, retractable roof and 360-degree scoreboard. The stadium has served as the residence for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and MLS club Atlanta United, which are both owned by Arthur Blank.

    Similar to AT&T Stadium, Mercedes-Benz hosts a pair of major college football gamesthe SEC Championship and Peach Bowlannually. It also hosted the 2018 CFP championship.

    The coronavirus pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA basketball tournaments, but Mercedes-Benz had been preparing to present the men's Final Four.

3. MetLife Stadium

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    Unveiled in 2010, MetLife Stadium stood as the most expensive sporting venue in the world for a decade.

    The stadiumlocated in East Rutherford, New Jerseycost $1.7 billion, has a capacity of 82,500 and is home to the NFL's New York Jets and New York Giants. MetLife replaced Giants Stadium, which housed the Giants for 34 seasons and the Jets for 26.

    MetLife has the distinction of being the first non-domed stadium in a cold-weather city to host the Super Bowl. Fortunately, the weather cooperated for Super Bowl XLVIII; the Seattle Seahawks smoked the Denver Broncos 43-8 on a 49-degree night.

    College football games are occasionally played at MetLife too. Most recently, Army and Navy staged their historic rivalry in East Rutherford for the 2021 clash.

2. Allegiant Stadium

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    If you're relocating a franchise, you might as well do it big, right?

    Following the 2019 season, the Oakland Raiders jumped to Nevada and became the Las Vegas Raiders. They moved into Allegiant Stadium, a $1.9 billion project completed in time for the 2020 seasonthough the pandemic kept fans outside until 2021.

    While also becoming the home for the UNLV Rebels, Allegiant has an impressive resume of events in its short history. The 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final and 2021 Las Vegas Bowl were played at Allegiant, along with the NFL's 2022 Pro Bowl.

    Plus, the stadium is slated to host Super Bowl LVIII in February 2024.

1. SoFi Stadium

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    If $1.9 billion for relocating one franchise is "doing it big," then $5.5 billion for two NFL teams is straight-up gargantuan.

    Rams owner Stan Kroenke sank an unprecedented amount of money into SoFi Stadium, which he had built on the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack. After the Rams received NFL approval to move from St. Louis in 2016, the San Diego Chargers followed suit exactly one year later and exercised an option to share the stadium.

    Both franchises began playing at SoFi in 2020, and the facility is scheduled to host several major events in this decade.

    Along with Super Bowl LVI this month, the 2023 CFP championship, WrestleMania 39 in 2023 and both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Summer Olympics are planned for SoFi. Plus, the L.A. Bowl will be contested annually at the Inglewood site.