The University of Southern California (USC) has unveiled a $270 million plan to renovate and restore the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the school plays its home football games.
The university says it will raise private funds to pay for the renovation of the facility, which was built in 1923. USC's investment would go far beyond what its stadium lease requires. That agreement calls for USC to make $100 million in improvements by 2054, including $70 million over the next decade. The improvements to the stadium seating and aisles will reduce seating capacity from 93,607 to about 77,500.
In its 82 years, the historic facility has hosted two Olympics, two Super Bowls, a World Series, a Papal Mass and visits by three U.S. presidents. Its last major renovation was 20 years ago to repair damage from the earthquake that struck Southern California in 1994.
“The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is a treasure not just for Los Angeles but for the state of California, and its renovation is long overdue,” says USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “Our Board of Trustees has enthusiastically endorsed our plans, and we are pleased to now present them to the Coliseum Commission. We believe these renovations will strengthen the Coliseum’s reputation as one of the world’s great venues and also will enhance our world-class athletic programs that utilize the Coliseum.”
If the plan is approved, Construction would begin after the 2017 USC football season and completed for the 2019 home opener, with no impact on the 2018 season.
The stadium overhaul would replace every seat in the stadium with wider seating; install handrails throughout the stadium; and add aisles and increase leg room in many sections. A new structure will be constructed on the south side of the stadium to accommodates suites, loge boxes, club seats, a new concourse and a new press box. New field and stadium lighting will be installed, new concession stands will be added, and existing ones will be improved.
The funding for the stadium overhaul from capital gifts, sponsorship revenue, non-USC events at the Coliseum and donor-naming opportunities. "It will not require any student fees or general university, local, state or federal funds," the university says.