The Los Angeles Football Club or LAFC is the new kid on the local sports block. They may be Major League Soccer's rookie team, but they're already doing better than their cross-town rival the LA Galaxy.
This Sunday night, their shiny new stadium opens up in Exposition Park — within spitting distance of USC and the Coliseum, and a short drive from Staples Center.
Could the addition of LAFC cement the Figueroa Corridor as the sports, entertainment and cultural hub of the city?
Andy Kamenetzky thinks so:
It could mean very good things. I attended USC from 1990 to 1994... and that was well before Staples Center even existed, much less the LA Live Plaza. At the time, Downtown had the reputation of basically offering nothing: there were not a lot of modern shops or restaurants, nobody really wanted to live there... the more immediate association with Downtown LA was actually Skid Row, and it was unimaginable in the 1990s or even the early 2000s what Downtown LA would eventually become.
According to a 2017 Los Angeles Times article, the construction that Downtown LA is undergoing right now — it's the most since the 1920s. And I think [the Staples Center] played a role in the revitalization of the area surrounding USC. There's far more retail surrounding the campus than when I attended stores and restaurants, and I think that all began with Staples opening its door in 1999.