Guest of the League
ANEZ LEAGUE Est. 2017
NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Week 1 | NFL: Week 7

SoFi Stadium: Naming rights sold for Los Angeles' new arena

Sun Sep 15 12:51pm ET
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) SoFi Stadium is the name of the palatial new home of the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers.

The growing personal finance company formally known as Social Finance has reached a 20-year agreement for the naming rights to the multibillion-dollar stadium complex in Inglewood, California, the teams announced Sunday.

SoFi Stadium is on schedule to open next summer in Hollywood Park ahead of the 2020 season for Los Angeles' two NFL teams. One season later, the stadium will host the Super Bowl.

SoFi was only founded in 2011, but the Bay Area-based online lending startup has grown rapidly into a prominent financial services business particularly successful among people refinancing student loan debt. Led by CEO Anthony Noto, a former NFL executive, and fresh off a $500 million round of equity financing led by Qatar's sovereign wealth fund in May, SoFi bought the naming rights to reap extraordinary exposure from the world's most prominent new stadium.

''It was something that really took a while for us to convince them that we were the right partner, and really gain the confidence that we could make that long-term commitment,'' Noto told The Associated Press. ''We're super excited to have got to this point. They're building something that's unprecedented, and I think the impact it could have (on SoFi) will be equally unprecedented.''

The 70,000-seat stadium is the centerpiece of a 298-acre complex developed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke and shared by owner Dean Spanos' Chargers. Along with the 2022 Super Bowl, the arena also will host the 2023 College Football Playoff national championship game, an annual college football bowl game, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Olympics.

With SoFi's name out front, the entire complex will have a prominent role in the future of the NFL and the Los Angeles metroplex.

''It's one of these forward-thinking companies,'' Spanos told the AP. ''It's in the forefront of innovation in their industry. That's something and somebody we want to be associated with as our stadium takes on that same sort of energy, because it's something that nobody has ever done before. I think what Stan has built here and done here, in his creativity with this whole development, this probably is going to redefine this area of Los Angeles for the next century. It's going to be something that LA is going to be very proud to have.''

Spanos and Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff are both pleased by the addition of a young, technologically savvy partner with the naming rights deal.

''When Stan started to imagine what sports and entertainment district at Hollywood Park to be, he wanted to find not only world-class partners, but innovative partners,'' Demoff told the AP. ''He wanted to bring someone unique to the table that hadn't been there before, and I think SoFi is a terrific partner because under Anthony's leadership, you can see their vision for financial technology, for changing banking and loans, and really that process of putting the customer first is very similar to what we want to do at the stadium. I think it's a unique fit for what we believe will be the greatest stadium in the world.''

Kroenke and Demoff also were pleased by the compact, alliterative name for such an expansive project, Demoff said.

''SoFi Stadium - I'm a fan of alliteration, so I love it,'' Demoff said. ''That may be very 10th-grade English of me, but I think it's a very natural-sounding name.''

Noto has a personal connection to the stadium and to its primary sport: The former Goldman Sachs partner also is the former chief financial officer of the NFL, and he worked on the league's groundwork efforts a decade ago to return to the Los Angeles market. After he became the chief operating officer of Twitter in 2014, Noto worked on its agreement to stream NFL games on the platform.

''I really had a front-row seat on seeing the impact (the NFL) could have on a business like ours,'' Noto said. ''It's a small component of our overall marketing budget and our overall spending budget, but the benefit we get from reallocating the investment into this from other things is magnitudes greater.''

SoFi recently has partnered with sports brands ranging from college basketball conference tournaments to the U.S. Open tennis tournament and the X Games. Noto said SoFi aggregated the audiences that saw their combined sponsorship efforts in 2018 and came up with about 15 million unique viewers for the entire year.

That's roughly the same amount of exposure they'll get from one prime-time NFL game in SoFi Stadium, Noto said.

Noto praised his former boss, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, for this culmination of the league's years of patient planning for a return to the nation's second-largest market.

''It's a result of Roger's vision back in 2008 and `09 when he established he wanted the LA market to be not just another stadium, but to be this iconic destination,'' Noto said. ''Stan and Dean are bringing it to life in a way that no one could truly comprehend when Roger laid out the vision.''

Along with the name, SoFi members will have their own lounge inside the stadium, and the company will stage additional events and seminars at the complex.

The money from a naming rights deal typically offsets construction costs, and Kroenke's project is expected to cost more than $5 billion. The Hollywood Park project already sold separate naming rights last month to American Airlines for a year-round performance venue and stadium entrance area.

Player Notes
Mark Ingram Oct 19 6:10pm ET

Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram rushed 13 times for 52 yards and a touchdown in Week 6 against the Bengals. The Ravens play a Seahawks Defense that has allowed 557 rushing yards and given up six touchdowns to opposing backs in 2019. In Week 6 Seattle allowed the Browns to rush for 157 yards and three touchdowns. Ingram has rushed for at least 44 yards in every game this season, but is becoming a touchdown-dependent option. He hasn't even come close to his outlier performance against Kansas City when he rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns. Baltimore still hosts a run-first offense so expect Ingram to get his touches, but he's in RB2 territory for Week 7.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Oct 19 6:00pm ET

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson posted 236 passing yards, 152 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown against the Bengals in Week 6. Baltimore plays a Seahawks Defense in Week 7 that's allowed the eighth-most passing yards in the league through six games (1,602). Seattle has allowed at least 15 fantasy points every week to opposing quarterbacks in 2019 and let Baker Mayfield run for a touchdown in Week 6. Receiver Marquise Brown is still questionable to play with an ankle injury. If Hollywood is unable to go on Sunday, expect tight end Mark Andrews to get the bulk of targets and for Jackson to use his legs to get the ball moving. Jackson has firmly placed himself as a top-three QB start for the rest of the way.

From RotoBaller

Demaryius Thomas Oct 19 5:23pm ET

New York Jets WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) was a limited participant in practice Saturday, Oct. 19, and is questionable for Monday Night Football.

Fantasy Spin: Thomas may not get to face his former team in the New England Patriots. He's coming off his best game of the season in Week 6, catching all four of his targets for 62 yards. He's a flex option at best as a bye-week replacement if active.

From TheHuddle

Christopher Herndon IV Oct 19 5:23pm ET

New York Jets TE Chris Herndon (hamstring) didn't practice Saturday, Oct. 19, and is considered doubtful for Monday, Oct. 21's game against the New England Patriots.

Fantasy Spin: Herndon is yet to play this season following suspension and now injury. WRs Jamison Crowder and Robby Anderson will remain the target hogs in New York's passing game.

From TheHuddle

Albert McClellan Oct 19 5:23pm ET

New York Jets LB Albert McClellan (concussion) didn't practice Saturday, Oct. 19, and is out for Monday, Oct. 21's game against the New England Patriots. DE Henry Anderson (shoulder), OL Kelvin Beachum (ankle), RB Trenton Cannon (foot/ankle), LB Neville Hewitt (neck/knee) and G Kelechi Osemele (shoulder) also didn't practice and are considered doubtful. OL Alex Lewis (neck), CB Nate Hairston (knee), LB C.J. Mosley (groin), DT Steve McLendon (hamstring), CB Darryl Roberts (ankle) and Brian Winters (shoulder/knee) were limited participants and are questionable. C Ryan Kalil (shoulder) didn't practice and is also questionable.

From TheHuddle

Phillip Dorsett Oct 19 5:13pm ET

New England Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) was limited in practice Saturday, Oct. 19, and is considered questionable for Monday, Oct. 21's games against the New York Jets.

Fantasy Spin: Dorsett is at risk of missing a second straight game after he left the Week 5 contest against the Washington Redskins with just four snaps played. WR Josh Gordon (ankle) has already been ruled out and WR Julian Edelman (chest) is also questionable. Expect plenty of work for RBs James White and Sony Michel in the passing game.

From TheHuddle

Rex Burkhead Oct 19 5:13pm ET

New England Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (foot) was a limited participant in practice Saturday, Oct. 19, and is considered questionable for Monday Night Football against the New York Jets.

Fantasy Spin: Burkhead hasn't been noteworthy this season outside of a surprise Week 3 start with RBs James White and Sony Michel inactive. Expect his two teammates to see plenty of work this week.

From TheHuddle

Patrick Chung Oct 19 5:13pm ET

New England Patriots TE Ryan Izzo (concussion) didn't practice Saturday, Oct. 19, and has been ruled out for Monday night's game against the New York Jets. TE Matt LaCosse (knee) also didn't practice and has been ruled out. S Patrick Chung (heel/chest) and WR Gunner Olszewski (hamstring) were limited and are questionable for Monday.

From TheHuddle

Josh Gordon Oct 19 5:03pm ET

New England Patriots WR Josh Gordon (ankle) was ruled out for Monday, Oct. 21's game against the New York Jets.

Fantasy Spin: Gordon made just one seven-yard catch against the New York Giants last Thursday night. His absence should open up playing time and targets for Phillip Dorsett and Jakobi Meyers. Both are desperation flex plays as bye-week replacements.

From TheHuddle

Julian Edelman Oct 19 5:03pm ET

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (chest) was a limited participant in practice Saturday, Oct. 19, and is considered questionable for Monday, Oct. 21's game against the New York Jets.

Fantasy Spin: Edelman had season highs with 15 targets, nine receptions and 113 yards last Thursday against the New York Giants. He should suit up Monday, but don't expect such high volume with added work for the running backs and WR Jakobi Meyers likely on the way.

From TheHuddle

Mike Pennel Oct 19 4:53pm ET

Free-agent DT Mike Pennel was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs Saturday, Oct. 19. DT Terrell McClain was released in a corresponding move.

From TheHuddle

Will Dissly Oct 19 4:50pm ET

Despite being the starting tight end last week, Luke Willson was only able to scrape together three targets. Baltimore is a neutral-to-slightly bad matchup for TE's, but even in a plus matchup, Willson will only be relevant if he's able to break the plane. Until he builds a track record of decent usage, Willson isn't even worth a speculative add at this point.

From RotoBaller

Patrick Peterson Oct 19 4:13pm ET

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson was added to the 53-man roster Saturday, Oct. 19, following his six-game suspension. OL Brett Toth (illness) was placed on the non-football injury list in a corresponding move.

From TheHuddle

Leonard Fournette Oct 19 3:20pm ET

No team in football has yielded more rushing yards per contest than the Cincinnati Bengals during 2019, who have allowed the opposition to storm down the field for over 184 yards per contest. What does all that mean? Leonard Fournette, the Jaguars unquestioned No. 1 option on the offensive side of the ball should be in line to feast. Not only has Fournette seen at least 20 carries in each of his last three contests, he has recorded at least four receptions in five of six games this year. While a lot of the talk surrounding Fournette has been focused on his aversion to finding the end zone through the first six weeks, the combination of one of the leagues top rushers facing the one of the leagues most permeable run defenses should equal big things for No. 27.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Chark Oct 19 3:10pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars second-year wide receiver D.J. Chark might wind up being the unlikeliest member of the Pro Bowl roster if he continues his dominant 2019 campaign. Through six games, Chark has totaled 528 yards and five touchdowns, bringing that hot stretch into a matchup against a Cincinnati Bengals Defense that has yielded the fewest points to opposing wide receivers entering this week. The 23-year-old has recorded four or fewer catches in two of his past three games, but the targets havent been an issue Chark has combined to see 26 balls thrown his way in that span. Hes a reasonably priced asset in DFS and should likely be roster in most traditional formats.

From RotoBaller

Duke Johnson Oct 19 2:50pm ET

Houston Texas running back Duke Johnson is still drawing snaps and making the most of his time on the field, but has seen Carlos Hyde erupt over the past few weeks as a ball carrier. Johnson found the end zone as a receiver last week, his first receiving touchdown since Week 10 of last season. The former Miami (FL) standout is yet to record double-digit carries in a contest this season, limiting his fantasy value significantly. Despite averaging a gaudy 6.5 yards per carry through the first six weeks, owners will need to see Johnson consistently tip the scales as it pertains to a timeshare in the backfield before deploying him in lineups.

From RotoBaller

Bradley Roby Oct 19 2:43pm ET

Houston Texans CB Bradley Roby (hamstring) on Saturday, Oct. 19, was downgraded to out for the Week 7 game against the Indianapolis Colts. Roby did not travel with the team.

From TheHuddle

Will Fuller Oct 19 2:40pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller erupted onto the scene as a legitimate fantasy weapon in Week 5 with his 15-reception, three-touchdown game. He followed it up by a pedestrian outing last week, but he did see nine targets, with finding the end zone on multiple occasions very nearly coming to fruition. The Colts pass defense is nothing to be scoffed at, but Fullers boom/bust potential seems to be at its apex with his recent output. With quarterback Deshaun Watson under center, Fuller presents a definite traditional fantasy option and a great upside DFS play.

From RotoBaller

Carlos Hyde Oct 19 2:40pm ET

He may have been acquired in the wake of the Lamar Miller injury, but Houston Texans running back Carlos Hyde is making his impact felt with his new franchise. Houston is fifth in the league with nearly 140 yards gained on the ground per game, with Hyde now having established himself as the bell cow of the group. He carried the ball a season-high 26 times last week, resulting in his first performance that exceeded 100 yards since Week 2 of the 2017 year. In addition, he has found the end zone in three of his past four games, aiming to continue that trend against a middle of the pack Colts rush defense.

From RotoBaller

Dede Westbrook Oct 19 2:20pm ET

The primary concern surrounding Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook is a shoulder ailment that has kept his status for Sundays contest up in the air. While owners wouldnt be blamed for shying away with the injury lingering enough to keep the questionable tag on him, Westbrook has seen a combined 19 targets from quarterback Gardner Minshew over the past two weeks. The former Oklahoma standout has only pulled in one touchdown reception this season but has had numerous opportunities since then. A matchup against a thin Cincinnati secondary could lead to a high-volume passing afternoon for all those involved in the Jacksonville offense.

From RotoBaller