USC on Thursday unveiled a planned $270-million renovation for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
College officials pitched the plans at a meeting with the Coliseum Commission. If approved by the Commission, plans for the launch will be announced in the spring of 2016.
Construction would begin after the 2017 USC football season and completed for the 2019 football home opener.
The renovation will be privately funded by USC.
The planned renovation would exceed USC's obligations under its lease agreement to invest $100 million in improvements by 2054, including $70 million over the next decade, officials said in a news release.
"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 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."
USC athletic director Pat Haden added that the university is "committed to providing our players, coaches and fans with one of the best facilities in the nation.
"This needed renovation to a stadium built in 1923 will ensure that the game-day experience gives all fans options to enjoy the stadium's new amenities while recognizing the loyalty of our longtime fans," he said in a statement. "It also will provide our football team with a first-class facility and a home-field advantage."
The planned renovations include:
- Replacing every seat in the stadium and installing handrails throughout the stadium;
- Adding aisles, widening seats and increasing leg room in many sections;
- Building a new structure on the south side of the stadium that will include suites, loge boxes, club seats, a new concourse, and a new press box;
- Restoring the iconic peristyle to more closely resemble the stadium’s original design;
- Updating Wi-Fi technology throughout the venue;
- Improving audio and video, including two new large screens at the east end of the stadium;
- Adding new concession stands, and improving existing stands;
- Upgrading entry concourses;
- Installing new field and stadium lighting;
- Replacing the electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems to meet current standards.
The renovation will be funded entirely by USC Athletics 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 improvements to the stadium seating and aisles will reduce seating capacity from 93,607 to approximately 77,500. Student and band seats will not be relocated and USC will work to upgrade the student experience.
"On behalf of LA24, we're excited that the University of Southern California's significant investment will turn the iconic Coliseum into a world-class stadium for LA's future," said Casey Wasserman, the chairman of the LA 2024 Olympic Candidate Committee. "I want to thank and congratulate USC President Max Nikias, Senior Vice President Todd Dickey and Athletic Director Pat Haden for this thoughtful design plan. We're confident that the newly renovated Coliseum would be the ideal location for an innovative and sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games."