Say goodbye to the aged but worn Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Grand Old Lady will be getting a makeover in the coming years. A $100 million one at that.
Sports Illustrated got the details from Don Barnum, the DLR Group principal, who was hired by USC to handle the modernization of one of the most historic stadiums in the country.
According to the report, over the next six months DLR will pitch options to carry the Coliseum into the 21st century. Among the more likely design changes, new locker rooms could have a huge impact on USC football as they strive to compete with top-of-the-line facilities possessed by Oregon and most other schools in the Pac-12.
“When you bring in recruits, you are competing with fantastic facilities at Oregon, for instance. The Coliseum is an unbelievable building that has got to carry a lot of weight, but a lot of recruits care about, ‘What kind of cool clothes am I going to get? And how nice is my locker room?’ ”
The changes will also impact seating. The plan is to make the Coliseum a more friendly venue in terms of viewing experience. That means rearranging the position of the field, bringing the seating closer to the field, ditching the endzone bleachers and reducing the capacity in favor of better field vision across the board.
“Really we will just start brainstorming ideas to move seats closer, improve toilets and concessions and create dozens and dozens of options to look at,” Barnum says about forming both “great or stupid ideas,” all coming with differing price tags.
Of course the Coliseum won’t be allowed to change completely. As a protected landmark, the more iconic elements of the stadium will remain intact, including the famous peristyle and the Olympic statues standing out front.