Construction Underway at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Hundreds of supporters, donors, fans, dignitaries, University of Southern California leaders, community leaders and members, and students gathered on January 29 to celebrate the official start of construction at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. DLR Group’s design for the $270 million modernization includes new fan amenities, seating upgrades, new premium opportunities in the Scholarship Tower, and restores the iconic peristyle. Officials also announced a name change for the facility from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to United Airlines Memorial Coliseum.
DLR Group’s design replaces every seat in the stadium. Seating upgrades provide a more comfortable game-day experience for fans, and reduce the stadium’s capacity from 93,607 to 77,500. Other improvements include the installation of handrails throughout, and additional aisles and repaired steps to enhance safety; widened seats and increased leg room in many sections; new concessions for the South TAF seating; updated Wi-Fi and cell capabilities; and improved audio/video systems throughout the venue.
“Our design respects the historic integrity of the Coliseum and creates a truly enhanced game-day experience for all USC fans,” said Don Barnum, AIA, DLR Group Global Sports Leader. “We’ve introduced a variety of new seating and amenity options that will meet the needs of all types of fans.”
A new seven-story Scholarship Club Tower, embedded seamlessly into the existing stadium bowl, features 20 Founders Suites on two levels, 22 club suites, 1,100 club seats and lounge, 24 loge boxes, a press box, and a rooftop terrace designed with 360 degree views of Los Angeles.
"The generosity of our donors - both large and small - will preserve this venue for generations to come and make it a truly world-class facility," said USC Athletic Director Lynn Swann through a USC News release. "When construction is complete, our home field will be the best it's ever been for our players, our students, and our Trojan fans, and that's thanks to the contributions from founders and alumni, and partners like United Airlines."
The Coliseum is one of the most iconic stadiums in the world. One of four historic athletic stadiums designated as National Historic Landmarks by the National Park Service, it was declared a state and national historic landmark in 1984. Since opening almost 95 years ago, it has welcomed more than 118 million visitors at more than 4,500 events, and has served as the USC Trojans’ home field. It is the only venue in the world to have hosted two Olympiads, two Super Bowls, a World Series, a Papal Mass, and visits by three U.S. Presidents. The Coliseum will also be home to track and field athletic events for the 2028 Olympics.
“DLR Group is sensitive to the place the Coliseum plays in the culture of Los Angeles and the world. Our design celebrates that historic integrity by preserving the peristyle, as well as the entire perimeter enclosure and shape of the seating bowl” said Barnum. “At the peristyle we’re removing all of the signage, advertising, and screens that have been added over the years to bring it back to its original glory.”
Two new scoreboards and new lighting were installed prior to the 2017 football season, and the sound system has been upgraded. Construction is scheduled to be completed for the 2019 football home opener. Both the USC Trojans and the Los Angeles Rams will play at Memorial Coliseum without interruption during the 2018 season.