LA Memorial Coliseum renamed, ready for renovations

first_imgUSC held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday after closing a deal with United Airlines, which led to the renaming of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to the United Airlines Memorial Coliseum. Ling Luo | Daily TrojanAfter almost a century, USC football’s home, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, is officially no more. USC announced on Monday that the stadium will now bear a new name: the United Airlines Memorial Coliseum.The deal is worth $69 million and took almost 16 years to forge. The name change was announced at the groundbreaking ceremony for the stadium’s recent renovations, which began at the conclusion of the NFL regular season several weeks ago. At the event, USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann admitted that the name change could cause “angst” among Trojan fans, but he said that the revenue provided by the naming rights deal is integral to funding the stadium’s improvement project.“There’s a need for change at every step of the way,” Swann said. “If we’re not changing and moving forward, then we’re stagnant and other schools will pass us up, and we won’t be relevant in terms of our facilities and what we do.”In the coming months, the stadium will undergo a $270 million renovation effort which will reduce the capacity from 93,607 to 77,500. According to the official renovation website, all upgrades are projected to be completed by the 2019 football season, with major changes finished by the 2018 season opener. Chief Operating Officer of the Coliseum Dan Stimmler said that many of the changes were motivated by a desire for a less confined gameday experience. “What we found at other stadiums was that people don’t like to just sit in their seat, and just sit there the whole game,” Stimmler said. “People like to get up, be in the sun, be in the shade, be able to walk around and have different types of food and beverage service.”Changes include the addition of a Scholarship Club Tower to the south side of the stadium, with suites, club seats and a new concourse area to allow spectators to watch in premium seating. The press box will also be rebuilt and updated, and new concession stands will be added throughout the stadium.Two new screens will be added to the eastern side of the stadium, and the historic white peristyle structure on the west end of the field will be remodeled to emulate its original Art Deco design. The field, however, will not be undergoing any major changes.“There is some stuff that we’ve looked at as far as artificial sidelines, but nothing outrageously different as of right now,” Athletic Fields Supervisor Scott Lupold said. “The big thing will be getting it put back together after the project is done.”The venue will also host the 2028 Olympics, which will come as a familiar return to its roots – the Coliseum was opened in 1923, and since then has hosted two Olympic games, along with two Super Bowls and a World Series.When the Trojans take the field next football season, the stadium is expected to feel brand new, both in name and in appearance.“I’ve been coming here for a long time, I’ve always really loved this stadium but it did need an upgrade,” Lupold said. “It’s nice to see this get done, it can only help everybody involved here at some point.”last_img

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