Soon after the SoFi Stadium was completed in this 14-mile southwest of Los Angeles, the costs began to rise.

INGLEWOOD (Calif.) Shirley Sher, a middle school teacher in Los Angeles, had become tired of driving an hour each way to get to her children’s school from the San Fernando Valley.

She was unable to enjoy the sunny weather and cultural diversity of Westchester. This bustling, yet manageable neighborhood is close to Los Angeles International Airport.

However, home prices in Los Angeles had already risen dramatically when she began house hunting in 2019. It seemed impossible to buy a house close to the coast. She found Inglewood, host of Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Sher stated, “It has so many to offer,” adding that although her neighborhood is mainly Latino, there are still plenty of other cultures. Her immediate neighbors include Black, White, and Greek. She said, “It has hidden pockets.”

Inglewood was always a city in transition.

After an Olympics marathon race, what started out as a small agricultural community in the 1880s became the City of Champions. According to records of the International Olympic Committee, two local athletes won medals in track as well as pole vault that year.

Later, it became a white, middle class city, before Black residents became the majority during the 1970s and ’80s. It is now majority Latino. Together, over 90 percent of Inglewood are Black or Latino.

Inglewood, for many years, was quiet. There were no department stores or basketball teams in the area.

This began to change when the Los Angeles Rams, and the Los Angeles Chargers opened shop in this midsize community about 11 miles southwest from downtown Los Angeles. They quietly moved the housing goal posts higher.

Christopher Smith, an Inglewood resident, said that there is a reputation built on hearsay or popular culture about Inglewood as a bad area — being “up to no good” and other such things.

He said, “It’s an ethnically varied, working-class community, and that makes some people uncomfortable,” It’s a benefit, I see it that way.

This city will host the Super Bowl Sunday for the first-time. It is one of the most challenging urban communities as home prices rise and gentrification takes hold.

The median price for the 595 Inglewood home sales was $719 680 in the first 11 months. According to CoreLogic housing data, both the total sales and median price are significant boosts that date back to 2015.

For years, home prices have been steadily rising.

  • Inglewood saw 547 homes sell at a median of $382,395, the same year that workers began construction on SoFi Stadium.

  • November 17, 2016, was the day that the shovels were brought to the ground. Inglewood had 506 homes sold at a median price of $436,192 in 2016.

  • 2017-2018 and 2019 saw 583, 577 and 474 sales of homes, with median prices of $489431, $570 248 and $583 847, respectively.

  • In 2020, SoFi Stadium hosted the first football game. 485 homes were purchased at an average price of $667.841.

Inglewood’s median price increase from $382,395 up to $719,680 represents an astonishing 88 percent rise. Los Angeles County saw a 49% increase in home prices, from $663,914 up to $990,461. This is a small change compared to the City of Champions.

According to Selma Hepp (CoreLogic’s deputy chief economist), Inglewood’s central Southern California location and healthy inventory of single-family homes in Spanish revival architecture should have made it a great spot for real estate speculation.

The tipping point was reached a decade ago, when $500,000 was no longer an option for potential Los Angeles County homebuyers. Inglewood offered the chance to marginalized Southern California residents like the LGBTQ community and immigrants, making it a viable alternative.

Hepp stated, “It’s been in the right place at a right time.”

Inglewood is a classic Southern California neighborhood. Surrounding restaurants, schools, parks, and single-family residences, towering palm trees dominate the landscape. Services are offered in English or Spanish at places of worship.

The SoFi Stadium is today’s main attraction. Its arrowhead-shaped shape makes it look like a beacon of light, and dwarfs the nearby Great Western Forum.

It was built at a cost of $5 billion, and is the most expensive stadium in America.

James T. Butts, Inglewood Mayor, stated that “Before,” our brand was poverty, crime, gangs, and crimson. He secured the SoFi Stadium deal, and has prioritized redevelopment ever since he took office in 2011. “Now, there’s a sense of civic pride that I hadn’t seen.”

It will host this weekend’s Super Bowl and the college football championship game in 2023. In 2023, it will also be the venue for the 2023 national college football championship game.

The Los Angeles Clippers will be moving into the yet to be completed Intuit Dome, which is located across the street from SoFi Stadium.

Butts stated that “I knew we were going to forever change,” at the 2020 opening of SoFi Stadium. “And that was the tipping point.”

After a game at the stadium, a San Francisco 49ers supporter was brutally beaten. The victim is still in a coma.

Some residents have also criticized SoFi Stadium’s debut, saying that it helped herald a new era in gentrification in a city with a median annual income of $54,400 and only 36% of residents own their homes.

Last month, state transportation department cleanup crews cleared unhoused residents’ encampments near the stadium.

Some activists and residents were furious at the timing of the Super Bowl, accusing city leaders to be trying to clean Inglewood of any negative elements in advance.

Nicole Randolph , an Inglewood resident, said that “they really don’t care for the homeless’s needs.” NBC Los Angeles. “It’s all about the money and the football.”

Butts stated that “there is absolutely nothing connection to the Super Bowl,” and added that cleanups are conducted periodically by the transportation department. They do not reflect the city’s attitude towards unhoused residents.