By Kenneth Miller, Publisher
After a successful Super Bowl, the renaissance of Inglewood as the sports and entertainment capital of the world continued when Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. joined with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on April 19 to welcome the CFP Foundation and the LA Host Committee while announcing SoFi Stadium as the host of the College Football Championship on Jan. 9 2023.
Each year, the CFP and CFP Foundation celebrate college football with a complete weekend of events, culminating this season with the CFP National Championship on Monday, January 9, 2023. More than 100,000 Southern California residents and visitors from across the country are expected to attend the fan events preceding kickoff. All of the events and activities will take place January 7-9, 2023, in and around the Los Angeles area.
On hand for yet another monumental achievement for the SoFi stadium and the region were Bill Hancock (Executive Director College Football Playoff); Britton Banowsky (Executive Director, College Football Playoff Foundation), Jason Gannon (Managing Director, SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park), Butts, Garcetti, James Rishwain (Chairman, Los Angeles College Football Playoff National Championship Host Committee), Kathryn Schloessman (President & CEO, Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission, Los Angeles College Football Playoff National Championship Host Committee).
“If you just look at the evolution of Inglewood, particularly over the last seven years. We went from incredulity that we even had a chance to reopen the Forum to just disbelief that we would ever be a candidate for an NFL team to now. It’s expected that it’s going to be great event after great event in our city,” Butts told Inglewood Today on an overcast morning with the SoFi stadium field in the background.
Inglewood is also a finalist for the FIFA World Cup, will host Wrestle Mania, the Olympics in 2028 and the Clippers in 2024, is home to the LA Phil Harmonic, the Girl Scouts, and YouTube Theatre is also currently open.
“So now we have blossomed and every event begets another great event and that’s where we are now,” Butts continued.
Butts also referenced how he has been instrumental in elevating Inglewood in the marketing sphere that is dominated by naming rights of sports teams that play in Inglewood.
“That’s not something that happens by accident the reality is the term Los Angeles refers to a media market and that’s very important to all the entities that invest all this money and we recognize that, but one of the things that we insist upon is the reality of the anchor point is Inglewood and this doesn’t happen without the work of the Inglewood City Council, without the work of the mayor, without the belief and the insistence of the residents of 110,000 people in Inglewood. We’re proud to be that vessel for the return of so many things to the Los Angeles region, but it cannot be forgotten this happens in the center of this nice square mile in the city and that’s Inglewood, California.”
For Banowsky, Inglewood was a homecoming of sorts since he was born in The City of Champions.
“I was born here not too far from the stadium, spent considerable amount of time growing up here went to school down the street (now closed Lockhaven Christian School), so it is special to be here. A lot has changed in 50 years since that happen, but I love LA, grew up here, graduated high school in the valley, so I know the town,” Banowsky explained.
He and his wife share a son who teaches school in the region so he comes to town from time to time, but he admitted that it all hit him when he got off the plane and rolled out of that congested airport area, saw downtown LA and remembered the feeling of being the freeways before and the busyness of the town.
“The people here are cool and it’s a very diverse place which I love, so I just feel really home here,” he concluded.
The College Football Playoff matches the No. 1 ranked team vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl Game.