Everything to know about the United Airlines Memorial Coliseum’s renovations
It’s more than just a meme-worthy name change
When it was announced that the iconic LA Memorial Coliseum was changing it's name to the United Airlines Memorial Coliseum, the student body, as well as the meme-page, went into a frenzy.
The 16-year, $69 million contract for the naming rights of the stadium was conducted to help fund the $270 million renovation project currently underway in the Coliseum. But what is actually being done to our stadium? Here's what you need to know:
USC will break ground Monday on a 2-year, $270 million Coliseum renovation. Improvements include:
-new seating/more legroom
-new concourse and press box
-new concession stands
-Scholarship Club Tower on the stadium’s south side
— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) January 24, 2018
Reduced number of seats
The initiative will include brand new seating in all parts of the stadium, as well as wider seats and more leg room in select areas. According the Coliseum Renovation Project official site, this is being done to "provide a more enjoyable and safer experience for ALL fans." Nonetheless, this does come at a cost.
Currently, the Coliseum seats 93,607 fans, making it the 9th largest college stadium in the country. The renovations will reduce the grandeur of the stadium to just 77,500 seats. Although lower attendance will help with game day traffic and congestion, this will change the atmosphere of the iconic Coliseum.
In addition, the renovations include the additions of hand rails and aisles throughout the stadium.
More video boards
The reduced seating also makes room for two more video boards to be installed on the east side of the stadium, as well as the new "Scholarship Club Tower."
Scholarship Club Tower
What is the Scholarship Club Tower? I'm glad you asked. It will be a structure on the south side of the stadium that replaces the old concourse and press box.
In addition to the new concourse and press box, the Scholarship Club Tower will house suits, loge boxes, and club seats. It is unclear who the new Club Tower is intended for.
Sticking "scholarship" in front of the name suggests that it may be special seating for students on merit scholarships. It could also just be a fancy name for expensive, high-class seating for donors and visitors willing to pay the price. Probably the latter.
The construction will also include new entry concourses. This is another renovation designed to make entering and exiting the stadium quicker and smoother for all guests.
It is assumed that improvements will be made to the entry concourses to the student section, as well. Nonetheless, there are no specific details on what the improvements are and how they will help the flow of game day traffic. Students can only hope that the chaos of attempting to enter the stadium will be a thing of the past.
Enhanced fan experience
In addition to all these major changes, many other minor changes are going to be made to enhance the game day experience. Wi-Fi inside the stadium will be improved. New LED lights will be installed in the stadium. Audio and video quality will be enhanced, starting with the two new screens.
Electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems will be replaced in order to meet current standards. The iconic peristyle will be restored in order to more closely resemble the original design of the stadium. And finally, new concessions stands will be added.
Details of quantity, location, and the type of vendors are unclear at the moment, but it will open up more options for mid-game food as well as shorter lines for each respective stand.
Although many changes are being made, two of the most beloved things are staying the same: the locations of the student section and the band.
USC will continue to play in the Coliseum throughout the 2018 season. All construction is scheduled to be complete by August of 2019. With all the changes and improvements, United Airlines Memorial Coliseum will have a new look and experience for current students, alumni, and Trojan fans, alike.