Los Angeles’ most recently built stadium, Banc of California Stadium, hosted its first music event over the weekend. The home of the equally brand new Los Angeles Football Club of Major League Soccer has held matches since April, but Saturday (June 2) marked its first concert with iHeartRadio’s KISS FM Wango Tango.
Promoted by Goldenvoice and produced by iHeartRadio, local Los Angeles radio station KISS FM put on its 21st Wango Tango concert with headlining performances from Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, 5 Seconds of Summer, Janelle Monáe, Meghan Trainor, and Miguel.
For their first concert, Banc of California Stadium’s President of Entertainment Adam Friedman was thrilled to work with an experienced team to bring out the best in Los Angeles.
“The intent of the ownership group was that they wanted to be integrated into the city,” Friedman said of the stadium located in Downtown Los Angeles. “This is a city facility. It is for the benefit of the entire community.”
According to Friedman, the emphasis on being an integral part of the city stems all the way back to the beginnings, when co-owner Peter Guber met with architects to view renderings of the facility.
“When this facility was being designed, the story goes that the architects had it all laid out and Peter Guber walked into the room, looked at the drawings, and said ‘Where is the orientation? Where does the city sit compared to the facility?'” Friedman said.
As the story goes, Guber asked them to cut out a portion of the roof so that people could see where the city was and be a part of it, not lost in it. As a result, there is an open portion of the roof on the north side of the stadium that perfectly frames the highrises of Downtown Los Angeles and shows off a handful of swaying palm trees.
Guber “knew that if they cut out that corner piece, this facility would be uniquely positioned as a facility that is completely integrated within the downtown area. This is a venue for all of LA. The facility was designed to reflect that,” Friedman said.
The entire building was designed with a California feel with large windows, open and spacious suites, and light summer colors throughout. The stadium even houses a VIP patio area equipped with a small pool and grass lawn. The Sunset Club is accessible from the sunset suites and also includes swinging chairs, a private bar, and ping pong tables set in a Palm Desert themed rooftop area.
Wango Tango, which took over not only the stadium but a portion of Exposition Park, is just the beginning of the non-Major League Soccer content expected at Banc of California Stadium.
“When they designed the facility it wasn’t with the design solely of playing soccer. It was about music and concerts,” Friedman told Amplify. “What they have built here is an arena-like stadium in terms of fan experience and the sightlines and the sound, but also from the artist production standpoint.”
For concerts, the stadium’s capacity reaches about 23,500 with the ability to place seats on the pitch or expose a built-in platform.
“There is a platform that is built into the North end of the facility that sits under the seating area. The seats come out, about 136 of them, and it reveals a 40-by-120-foot stage platform that is expandable in both depth and width. It can build and hang pretty much any show that’s touring on the road,” Friedman said.
The built in platform is set back, providing more seats with great sightlines and fewer seat kills. The platform is also adjacent to a loading dock and loading bay which lowers the production cost of loading a show. The savings, Friedman explains, goes to the artist.
“As for the balance of the content, major global touring artists but also festivals. We get to leverage not only the stadium but we have rights to use the parkland around us at Exposition Park,” Friedman said.
The multi-asset offering also includes a lot that can hold 30,000 to 40,000 attendees and access to Christmas Tree Lane for an additional 15,000 fans. They have also partnered with next door neighbors Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to vie for events such as the Olympics that are headed to the city in 2028.
“Whether for sporting events or for Olympic events or concerts, we have a partnership with the Coliseum where whatever fits better in whichever facility, we have the house for you. That’s the mantra,” Friedman said.