By Ray Richardson
INGLEWOOD — Area residents can get a close-up view of the multi-billion dollar phenomenon known as Hollywood Park June 26 when the first community-oriented event, Summer Bash, is held.
Summer Bash will feature tours of SoFi Stadium and the rest of the entertainment complex springing up around it.
“This is an anchor point in the evolution of our city,” Inglewood Mayor James Butts said of the day-long event. “It’s the first opportunity for people to see and touch what they’ve been hearing about for years.”
The event, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., offers a variety of family features, including health and wellness activities, fitness classes led by Inglewood instructors, a local business expo, food and merchandise vendors and a job fair.
Legends Hospitality, the staffing agency for SoFi Stadium, will be on site to accept applications for concessions, catering staff, culinary, tour associates, suite runners and other positions. Applicants can log onto hiringfair.hollywoodparkca.com for more information.
KJLH-FM is planning to broadcast live throughout the day. Many of the stations’ on-air personalities and staff will be on site.
For people who have yet to get their COVID-19 vaccinations, Cedar Sinai Medical Center will have a mobile unit to give vaccines, health screenings and consultations.
“We can’t stress enough how vital it is for people to get vaccinated,” Butts said. “It’s the quickest way for our society and economy to get back to the way we want it.”
Butts pre-recorded several messages that will be played throughout the day on the SoFi public address system when people enter the stadium for tours. The tours are free but require advance tickets.
Stadium tour tickets can be accessed through the KJLH website at KJLHradio.com. Click on the banner displaying “Hollywood Park Summer Bash.”
The stadium tour is expected to be one of the top attractions. With fans prohibited from attending NFL games at SoFi in 2020, the Summer Bash serves as somewhat of an open house for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers.
Motorists driving near Hollywood Park can only see SoFi from a distance. Construction for various phases of Hollywood Park is still in progress. Barricades prevent closer access to SoFi for motorists and pedestrians on Century and Prairie avenues.
The tours will take Saturday’s visitors throughout the 70,000-seat stadium and provide a glimpse of an NFL game atmosphere.
“It was always our plan to host a special event for those in Inglewood and surrounding areas before the season started,” said Jason Witt, director of community engagement for SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park.
Several Rams and Chargers players are expected to attend the Summer Bash, as well as the cheerleading squads from both teams.
Rams and Chargers officials are hopeful of playing in front of full- or near- capacity crowds in 2021. Since 2014, Rams owner Stan Kroenke has been the driving force behind Hollywood Park and SoFi. Before COVID-19 shut down the state and most of the country, Kroenke projected the two sites would deliver an economic renaissance to the city of Inglewood and neighboring communities.
Lack of fan access prompted Kroenke and Hollywood Park management to organize the Summer Bash after state health officials gave indications that COVID-19 restrictions would be scaled back beginning June 15.
“When Mr. Kroenke made the decision to build SoFi, he knew the community had to be at the forefront of his vision,” Witt said. “We’re excited to be a part of this event and emphasize ‘All Is Welcome.’”
Residents planning to attend the Summer Bash will have four parking options to enter Hollywood Park: the Green Zone off Prairie Avenue; the Brown and Orange Zones off Pincay Drive and the Pink Zone off Century Avenue.
“We’re hoping a lot of people come out,” Butts said. “We’ve changed the brand of our city. Our image has been totally renovated. We’re a city on the move.”
Ray Richardson is a contributing writer for The Wave. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.