Monday night’s Rams vs Cardinals playoff game is full of historic ‘firsts’ for SoFi Stadium

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The countdown to Super Bowl LVI has officially begun. But before Los Angeles hosts the nation’s biggest sporting event, the Rams have a few more firsts to knock off their bucket list as the Arizona Cardinals come to town for the first-ever playoff game at SoFi Stadium. .

“Winning the most competitive league in the NFL Division, being able to put together a playoff game against the Cardinals, being the first Monday Night Playoff game in NFL history, the first Martin Luther King Jr. Day playoff game in the he history of the NFL…this is a special time for all of us at the Rams,” Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff said at Super Bowl LVI’s ’30 Days Out’ media event. last week “I think it’s a special time for Los Angeles, we hope to put on a great show and hopefully come away from here victorious.”

Although there was a lot of talk about the impressive number of away fans in SoFi for the Week 18 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Demoff assured us that the Rams’ home field advantage will always play. a huge role in the Super Wild Card Monday weekend. night special.

“We had an incredible advantage on the pitch – maybe not as much last weekend! — but definitely for our first seven games, especially the Tampa game,” Demoff said, referring to the 34-24 win over the Bucs in Week 3, explaining that SoFi is one of the loudest venues in the league. “You start with a stadium that’s 100 feet underground. There’s dirt around it and there’s a roof over it. And then our fans, whose seats are closer to the pitch than anywhere in the NFL.

Demoff said there was tremendous energy radiating from the Rams loyalists, who “have always looked forward to a forever home for this team.”

“The team first played at the Coliseum, then moved to Anaheim Stadium, took a trip to St. Louis and came back to the Coliseum. This is the first stadium ever built by Rams fans for the Rams, designed by Rams fans. I think you feel home-field advantage comes to life every week – we’ve felt it all year – I know our fans are excited and ready for Monday night as well.

Photo credit: Debbie Emery

Whatever happens in Monday’s historic game, we’ve been assured that – despite rumors that the league is considering a last-minute move to AT&T Stadium in Dallas – Super Bowl LVI will definitely be played at SoFi on February 13. .

“It really feels good that this game is playing in a month,” Demoff said during the countdown launch event, as the Samsung’s famous Infinity Display behind him was the most important date. “When we started dreaming about SoFi Stadium years ago, it started with the Super Bowl in mind. We wanted this stadium to be the biggest Super Bowl venue ever – among NFL venues and truly in the world. It starts with building the biggest stadium in the world, the most technologically advanced stadium in the world, the most welcoming stadium for fans… all of these things contribute to making it an amazing home environment.

Adam Burke, Katie Keenan, Kathryn Schloessman, Jason Gannon, Kevin Demoff and AG Spanos.
Mark Bella/LA Tourism

While plans were in place for LA to host the Super Bowl long before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19, there’s no denying its inevitable impact on any large-scale event, and sadly SBLVI won’t score. the end of the pandemic as many of us had hoped.

“For a long time we talked about this being the first post-pandemic event,” Demoff told media, as he sat on the panel with Adam Burke, president and CEO of Los Angeles Tourism. & Convention Board; Katie Keenan, NFL Senior Director of Event Operations; Kathryn Schloessman, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission; Jason Gannon, general manager of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, and AG Spanos, president of business operations at LA Chargers. “That might not be true anymore as we fight this latest variant, but it’s really about bringing people back and making them feel safe. I’m excited that we can be pioneers in hosting these big events and organizing them safely, as we hope to head into the next stage of the COVID pandemic.

Demoff also praised the support they’ve gotten from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in maintaining “an amazing, safe environment year-round” by ensuring fans are vaccinated or test negative and wear protective gear. masks inside.

“We’re lucky because it’s an outdoor building…we had our biggest crowd of the year here on Sunday (January 9) – almost 75,000 people – we think this building is very safe. I think people who have come to our games have learned to be safe and to protect themselves.

“I don’t think anyone has ever shied away from this game. [the Super Bowl] to be able to play here safely. Unfortunately, not only for Los Angeles but for the whole world, omicron has presented great challenges over the past few months. And hopefully we can solve these challenges not just to play the Super Bowl, but so we can all continue to grow as a society.

Whether the Rams actually play in Super Bowl LVI or not, be sure to look for some familiar Rams legends in the crowd on Feb. 13.

“I think the great thing about the Super Bowl is you get the legacy NFL players coming back,” Demoff said. “Granted, there are a lot of great Rams moments – this team has been around for over 80 years, they have a ton of Super Bowl experience…not always positive! So I’m sure you’re going to see Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt, those members of the Greatest Show on Turf days and the one and only franchise to win the Lombardi Trophy in team history.” -he predicted. “I hope you’ll see current Rams greats like Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp, Jalen Ramsey and Matthew Stafford also on the field participating. in Super Bowl LVI. The NFL always does a great job weaving home team tradition (in this case, home teams) and Super Bowl legacy throughout the game day – and I can’t wait to see what they bring to life.

“As someone who grew up in Los Angeles and saw the Super Bowl come here, being part of a group that helped bring the Super Bowl back to Los Angeles after three decades, build this stadium and host the biggest events in the world…I think we’re all very proud and feel really lucky that Stan Kroenke had this vision to build an incredible stadium, to make Los Angeles not only the entertainment capital of the world, but really into the world of sports right here by building the world’s largest sports entertainment district in Hollywood Park I was lucky enough to play a very small part in it but it takes all of Los Angeles County and the surrounding counties for the Super Bowl to come to life. I think when we have that game day kickoff, it will be a special time for everyone involved.

In case you forgot, Super Bowl LVI kicks off at the majestic SoFi Stadium at 3:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, February 13. But before that, the Rams can host the Cardinals on Monday night at 5:15 p.m.

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