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USC takes control of LA Coliseum, renovations coming

LA Memorial Coliseum AP

The USC Trojans have finally gained full control of the Los Angeles Coliseum, their home stadium since 1923. It took years to get to this point but the Coliseum is now USC’s to manage and the school intends to restore the historic venue.

According to ESPN Los Angeles, the California Science Center’s governing board approved the final details in a lease agreement for the stadium, allowing USC to take control of management and operations of the stadium. The agreement in place grants the control to USC for the next 98 years (2111 if you are making plans) and will have the school move forward on plans to improve the stadium costing up to $100 million.

“We get to control our own destiny [at the Coliseum], which we didn’t before,” USC athletic director Pat Haden told “But we are going to have to pay for the renovations that were supposed to be paid for by somebody else. So in some ways, it’s like picking up somebody else’s responsibility, but we do finally have control.”

USC will pay rent reported at $1 million per year but the school should start being able to turn a profit in the stadium by having more control of concessions and other sources of income related to the venue. The new changes may not be immediately noticeable, but the plans are there for USC.

“You won’t notice a lot this year because we just got control of it,” Haden said in the ESPN Los Angeles report. “There will be a few cosmetic things. The food will be better and easier to purchase, and it will be cleaner. Over the next year or so, we’ve got to develop a plan and a fundraising plan for what it’s going to look like, but I don’t think anything major is going to be taking place for another two years.”

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9 Responses to “USC takes control of LA Coliseum, renovations coming”
  1. rolltide510 says: Sep 5, 2013 8:31 PM

    What else does the Coliseum get used for? I’m trying to figure out who it is Haden felt was supposed to pay for the renovations. Al Davis?

  2. ajarkoski says: Sep 5, 2013 9:40 PM

    It has been the city of LA’s responsibility to manage and provide as a sports venue. USC has suffered with a delapidated stadium that just got older and dirtier every decade. Just poor maintenance and upkeep of a very valuable city asset. Is the 1 million dollar rent a deal for 6 games a year? Unless they get to use it for more events and rent it out. just under 100 years of use will make sure they get proper use of their improvements. Something had to be done since no other stadium is available. Might be a win-win for the bankrupt city and the desparate Trojans.

  3. thekatman says: Sep 5, 2013 10:03 PM

    The remodeling of the Coliseum was the responsibility to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, whose members included the LA Mayor, the CA Governor, the LA City Council member from the area, the CA Assemblyman representative from the area and others….. Everyone of the members are / were corrupt and taking money under the table. One commission member who was in charge of the remodeling of The Old Grey Lady, took kickbacks from his friends who were doing some work and their work was not completed on time, under budget, nor of any sort of quality. The entie effort was a cluster-fudge…

    Now, USC gains control of the site. The $1M lease payment is for the Coliseum Commission to pay its membership, office space and other non-essential incidentals… Yes, more corruption, but USC has to pay it or they don’t get control of the stadium. Something really good to happen, but we had to pay the price.

    I’m loking forward to seeing the urban renewal project plans for the stadium. It sold completly outshine Farmers Field, which is scheduled for downtown LA. What a Sunday mess that’s gonna create for travelers theough the downtown corridors.

    Fight On.

  4. lawest111 says: Sep 5, 2013 10:04 PM

    This is a great deal for USC. It’s a historic landmark that is across the street from their campus. The revenue will far exceed the cost of $1MM per year. Come on, Haden.

  5. jkaflagg says: Sep 6, 2013 12:05 AM

    I thought they should have called in Frank McCourt… knows how to make a buck…..

  6. Anoesis says: Sep 6, 2013 1:16 AM

    How far back do you want to go? L.A. Rams? L.A. Raiders? The Coliseum Commission’s attempts to get another NFL team? The USC Trojans have never been the main tenant at the Coliseum until now, so Haden’s statement about someone else paying for long-needed (and long-delayed) improvements is accurate.

    The Coliseum sees multiple use over the course of a year besides USC home games, including international soccer games and music concerts. Oh, and it also hosted two of the most successful Olympics in history.

    Agree wholeheartedly that any agreement that takes the Commission out of the loop as much as possible is a huge improvement.

    Haden merely pointed out that past principle tenants failed to keep up with improvements they agreed to in their contracts. Agreements the Commission failed to enforce. Is it any wonder the NFL hasn’t gotten a foothold back in L.A.?

    Sarcasm? The Coliseum Commission is the group equivalent of that crook McCourt. Good riddance to both.

    This is great news for both the Coliseum and the Trojans. Here’s hoping they don’t mar the historic place with a bunch of hideous glassed-in boxes .

  7. sillec28 says: Sep 6, 2013 10:17 AM

    Get the money to renovate from Lane Kiffin. He isn’t doing anything to deserve that $4 million salary.

  8. webdupree says: Sep 6, 2013 12:17 PM

    The Coliseum Commission was cartoonishly corrupt. This change was long overdue. At least USC has its reasons to give a d–n about taking care of the Coliseum. Hopefully this also means no more kids dying at poorly supervised raves at the site…

  9. fordmandalay says: Sep 7, 2013 9:43 AM

    The best way to ‘restore’ that gigantic white elephant is to tear it down and start from scratch, okay keep the peristyle if you want. It’s footprint can be literally cut in half with a modern stadium that will seat 70,000, and they can build a parking structure with the leftover space so that fans don’t have to pay $30 to park on someone’s lawn a mile away, and walk to and from the stadium at night through one of the worst areas in L.A. – and they wonder why fans didn’t attend Rams and Raiders games there.

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