Listen: Los Angeles’ $10 Billion Gamble on SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park

When Taylor Swift takes the stage at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., next summer, it will be a first in two regards. The performance won’t just mark the beginning of the chart-topping singer’s new Lover Fest tour; she’ll also be the opening night for a heavily hyped new Los Angeles venue that will be the home of two NFL teams.

But this isn’t just another event space for the city, according to Jason Gannon, who is overseeing the $10 billion construction of SoFi and the 298-acre Hollywood Park area. The innovations it will bring to live entertainment will set a new standard for the rest of the industry.

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“People see a 70,000-seat stadium and they think to themselves, well, we already have a couple of those in the area,” Gannon said on the latest episode of the Variety podcast Strictly Business (recorded earlier this month from the stage of Variety’s annual Innovate event). “I think there’s there’s so much about this building that is truly unique.”

Unique enough that Swift will be followed in the coming years at the venue by the 2022 Super Bowl and the 2028 Summer Olympics. Gannon details his cutting-edge approach from its usage of mobile apps to the 90,000 sq. feet of LCD digital displays that grace the venue.

With over 3,000 workers currently toiling every day to make sure Hollywood Park (an area three and a half times the size of Disneyland) is ready by July, Gannon is focused on getting the project to the finish line. But he knows that’s really just the beginning.

“It takes time, a lot of thought and a lot of hard work in order to deliver,” said Gannon. “And it’s not necessarily delivering whenever you cut the ribbon, but it’s delivering year over year. That really is what is going to make Hollywood Park such a success.”

“Strictly Business” is Variety‘s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. Past episodes include conversations with Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Dana Walden, co-head of 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Television Group. A new episode debuts each Wednesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

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