LOS ANGELES – The stadium that closed out the 2021 football season hosting Super Bowl LVI will once again be in the spotlight Thursday as both blazing heat and the first regular NFL season game get underway.
The Los Angeles Rams will host the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, in temperatures that are expected to reach the 90s but cool down before kickoff.
A ridge of high pressure centered over the West is responsible for the excessive heat, which has triggered heat alerts for more than 50 million residents.
Similar to the record hit during the Super Bowl, the region is in the grasp of an ongoing heat wave that has pushed many communities above the century mark.
The outdoor temperatures could resemble those on the field as the $5 billion does not have air conditioning in much of the facility.
Engineers said the specially designed roof and walls are situated in a manner to allow the over 3 million square feet facility to naturally cool through breezes off the ocean.
The stadium is located just over four miles away from the Pacific Ocean, where water temperatures are in the lower 70s.
A stadium representative said the outside parts of the facility stay around four degrees cooler than the natural temperature.
"The stadium will also utilize portacools, which act as cooling misters. These will be positioned throughout the stadium concourses. We also have new entry structures that assist in providing shade as guests move through the ticket checkpoints. Should guests feel overheated, they can reach out to a member of our Guest Services team for assistance," a stadium representative said.
Thursday’s game will mark the 14th time that the Bills and the Rams will meet. Buffalo leads the series 8-5.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET (5:20 PT) Thursday.