Whether they intended it or not, designers of the new Surf Lakes Dome concept cooked up something resembling the world’s most expensive sports stadium. We’ve been slowly (or maybe not-so-slowly) watching the focus of wave pool developments evolve for almost a decade now. With big names like Surf Lakes, Kelly Slater Wave Co., Wavegarden, and others in the mix, the idea of a wave pool has morphed into making manmade waves the centerpiece attraction of massive entertainment, retail, commercial, and residential developments.
In 2020, Sofi Stadium was introduced as the home of the Los Angeles Rams and LA’s forever-stepchild NFL franchise, the Los Angeles Chargers. It was developed by Rams owner Stan Kroenke with a hefty price tag somewhere between five and six billion, and he plopped it right in the middle of a 298-acre complex where people could be expected to come for more than just a football game. The National Football League even moved their NFL Network television studios to the complex.
It’s tough to ignore the similarities to Sofi when looking at the digital designs for the Surf Lakes Dome concept: a closed dome with an open-air design, and even similar walkways and pools surrounding the dome itself. Aside from the dome aspect of the wave pool, this isn’t groundbreaking or new. Wavegarden built a two-billion, 167-square-meter waterfront resort two years ago in South Korea, and they’re even building residential complexes around wave pools too.