Build SoFi Stadium one Lego at a time – 500,000 piece Legoland miniature comes to life

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SoFi Stadium began construction in 2016, before officially opening in 2020. It has now been rebuilt. Or rather, a 30-foot-long Lego version was built.

It opens as part of the Southern California section of Legoland California’s Miniland USA, a theme park packed with smaller-scale versions of the world’s major landmarks and cities. Construction and installation was recently completed after the project was announced ahead of this year’s Super Bowl, featuring the LA Rams in SoFi.

The new Lego SoFi even comes with its own giant Lego roof, although it’s also open so you can see everyone inside.

It was shipped to Legoland in 60 separate pieces due to its immense size after being built offsite.

The stadium is filled with little jokes and references, which you’ll find among the more than 3,000 Miniland figures sitting inside the stadium. One real-world specific you’ll be able to spot is that the Lego players on the field represent the Los Angeles Rams’ starting offense. Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and the team’s cheerleaders joined the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday.

A man in a black t-shirt and jeans kneels on the Lego pitch of a Lego SoFi stadium that surrounds him, filled with Lego minifigures representing large numbers of people.

Are you ready for a (tiny) football?

(Kristy Walker

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Courtesy of Legoland)

Builders can figure out the fine details themselves, giving them their own creative freedom in the process.

“What are the fans doing? Are they holding a hot dog? Are they holding money and buying a hot dog? Who’s cheering? Are they waving?” Legoland Master Model Builder PJ Catalano said in an interview with LAist.

The stages on display are also modular, so plans are underway to rotate football for some concerts on the road, as well as other sporting events. They will also be able to change people in the crowd.

“As you build, you see these things coming together, and it might not be recognizable. You get a few layers and you’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, I see what’s happening,'” Catalano said. .

A woman with long hair works on Lego bleachers, mostly in gray and white, on a work table.  Behind her, a blue banner reads MERLIN MAGIC MAKING.

The tiny stands are waiting to be filled with tiny people.

It’s a larger scale than most Legoland models, which are built at one-twentieth the size of real life – Lego SoFi Stadium is one-fiftieth the size of the real thing. Even at 1:50 scale, it’s a huge addition to the park, with fans filling tiny bleachers to see the Rams in action.

“It’s going to be an absolute monster,” Catalano said.

Model measures over 30 feet long, 15 feet wide and 4 feet high. Now that it’s installed, it’s overtaking the entire skyline of mini-Southern California, according to Catalano.

Every Legoland in the world has its own miniature Lego stadium, but this one was set to break the Guinness World Record as the biggest anywhere – knocking out the former defending champion, the miniature Legoland Deutschland of the Allianz Arena in Munich. The completed SoFi brick includes over 500,000 Lego pieces, weighing over 3,500 pounds.

A laptop screen shows a criss-cross pattern on the right, various Legos on the left.  Net at the computer on a workstation are a mouse, a flask and pliers.  The large roof of the mini stadium is built in the background.

Bringing the stadium to life — virtually.

To create such a complex model, designers use computer modeling to achieve a perfect overall design.

“Small models are a bit easier to invent in your head. The bigger they are, the more computational planning they need. You don’t invent this on the fly,” Catalano said. “A model this big, it’s not a one-size-fits-all model. You have many pieces built as blocks coming in, and now they’re put together into one big structure.”

A fair-skinned man with sandy hair and a beard uses glue to hold Legos together as he builds the SoFi stadium, with large sections of blue and yellow brick columns seen in the photo.  He has white Apple Airpods in his ears.

When you’re building a Lego model to last, it’s not enough to put bricks together to keep everything from falling apart.

The project is divided into smaller teams, with one team responsible only for the roof, another for the greenery outside, and more. A team of 25 Lego model builders spent over 6,000 hours putting it all together.

Catalano himself has been working at Lego for eight years now. As he explained, the interview process includes building 2D and 3D objects within a 30-minute time frame. Everyone has been able to put those skills to the test by building things like this Honey I Shrunk The SoFi.

“I encourage anyone who wants to become [Lego master model builder] to keep building, take pictures of your builds,” Catalano said. “Keep going, because it’s a lot of kids’ dream to do this – it’s a lot of adults’ dream to do it. So… practice, practice following the instructions, practice building on your own.”

A LEGOWOOD sign in white legos on the right, a Lego Griffith observatory on its left, on a green hill with small trees.  In the background, another Lego city is seen.

The Lego version of Los Angeles is a little more compact – and apparently not far from another major Lego city.

(wiredforlego — wiredforsound23

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Flickr Creative Commons)

Lego SoFi joins other Los Angeles landmarks in Miniland, including models of the Griffith Park Observatory, Hollywood Bowl, Grauman’s Chinese Theater and a Legowood sign. It’s the first addition to Miniland since before the pandemic, following the removal of the Star Wars portion of Miniland in early 2020 as the park moved to focus more on characters from its own Lego movies. Legoland also plans to launch more new models in the Southern California section of Miniland later this year, which should be announced in the coming weeks.

People at different work tables assemble Lego structures using Legos taken out of various bins.

Building Legoland’s SoFi Stadium is a team sport.

Other upcoming events at the park include a Lego Ferrari build race, with a life-size Lego-built Ferrari on display.

You can visit the new, smaller SoFi Stadium for prices a bit cheaper than the Super Bowl, plus many other events at SoFi – day tickets to Legoland (just north of San Diego in Carlsbad) start at $89.99.

This story has been updated.

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