USC releases Coliseum renovation plans Thursday

USC unveiled a $270 million renovation plan for the Coliseum Thursday. The renovation, the first in 20 years, will be finished in time for the 2019 season.

The Coliseum has been a defining feature of USC and the greater Los Angeles Area since its construction in 1923.

In the summer of 2013, the Coliseum Commission and the Board of Directors for the California Science Center gave approval for the renovations.

Noteworthy renovations include entirely new seating, which will feature increased legroom and widened seats, handrails throughout the stadium, a new press box, suites, loge boxes, club seats, concourse, a club box, a Wi-Fi update and two additional large screens.

“This needed renovation to a stadium built in 1923 will ensure that the gameday experience gives all fans options to enjoy the stadium’s new amenities while recognizing the loyalty of our long-time fans,” said Athletic Director Pat Haden in a press release. “It also will provide our football team with a first-class facility and a home field advantage.”

Athletics will fund the renovations with capital gifts, events not affiliated with USC, donor-naming and sponsorship revenue.

By completing these renovations, USC is obligating its lease agreement with the state, Los Angeles County and the city of Los Angeles in which USC must invest $100 million by 2054.

With new, widened seats and increased legroom, the Coliseum’s capacity will decrease from 93,607 to 77,500.

This is not the first time in USC history that the Coliseum has been renovated. In 1993, the field was lowered; in 1994, the stadium was repaired following an earthquake; and in 1995, the press box was added.

“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,” said President C. L. Max Nikias in a press release. “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.”