SoFi Stadium is one of the NFL’s newest stadiums. Rams owner Stan Kroenke put $5 billion into the arena to make it a comfortable, modern, amenity-filled venue.
Still, Raiders coach Jon Gruden came away from his first appearance at the stadium puzzled by one thing.
“You know, the locker room here is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen,” Gruden said to reporters following the Raiders’ 28-14 loss to the Chargers. “You can’t see anybody. It’s like a maze.
“So, you know, whoever contorted this visiting locker room, I’d like to meet this guy and see what his, um, what his idea was.”
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Gruden’s Raiders had to spend more time than usual in the locker room on Monday night. The game was delayed 35 minutes by lightning in the area. That too was a source of confusion for Gruden, as SoFi Stadium has a dome.
“I’ve never had an indoor stadium with a lightning delay,” Gruden said.
SoFi Stadium is technically classified as an open-air stadium, as the sides of the stadium are open. So, while the roof protected the field from the weather, the game couldn’t proceed because of that feature.
Gruden was asked if an explanation was given to him, but he deferred knowledge of the situation to the experts.
“Nah, I’m not an engineer. I have no idea, and I have never heard that,” Gruden said of the delay. “I thought it was a joke. But it affected both teams.”
That said, it may have affected the Raiders more. Their offense struggled mightily in the first half and allowed the Chargers to jump out to a 21-0 lead at halftime. They closed the gap in the second half but ultimately were dealt their first loss of the 2021 NFL season.
“This was a bizarre night for all of us,” Gruden said.
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