Los Angeles sports stars help debut LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium

Rendering of Banc of California Stadium

Magic Johnson, Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra were among the list of Los Angeles sports legends who helped show off LAFC’s new Banc of California Stadium.

Los Angeles’ newest sports venue is finally ready to host its first match, which takes place April 28 when LAFC play the Seattle Sounders.

Johnson, Hamm and Garciaparra, who are also co-owners of the expansion team, gathered Wednesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new $350 million stadium located adjacent to the historic L.A. Colosseum, just south of downtown Los Angeles.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, LAFC Coach Bob Bradley joined other officials for the stadium’s opening ceremony.

“Our stadium is amazing, being able to play in a completely new place is going to be very nice and we are all excited to play in front of our fans,” LAFC’s Carlos Vela told ESPN after training at the new venue.

LAFC has played its first five games on the road, opening with a win at Seattle. The team lost 4-3 in a thriller to crosstown rival L.A. Galaxy earlier this month.

“People have already been talking about the supporters that we have, it’s amazing. And we haven’t even played our first home game,” LAFC owner Nomar Garciaparra said in the team’s website. “They were talking about it even before we played our very first game in MLS, people were talking about the support has been unbelievable.

“But I think the stadium and location is a key part to that. It’s the heart of LA. And it’s going to take the heart of LA to continue the success.”

At the Banc of California Stadium the ceremony, LAFC President Tom Penn announced the Club’s $4 million investment over seven years into initiatives and projects in the community surrounding the stadium.

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