LOS ANGELES—The new seating plan for USC football games when the Los Angeles Coliseum is renovated in 2019 is being unveiled to members of the Trojan Athletic Fund and current USC football season ticketholders.
The renovation will reduce the stadium’s current seating capacity by about 16,000 seats, thereby requiring a re-seating of current season ticketholders. Capacity will go from 93,607 to 77,500 due to such improvements as added aisles, widened seats and increased leg room in many sections and the construction of a new Scholarship Club Tower on the stadium’s south side that will include suites, loge boxes, club seats, a new concourse and a new press box.
During the next 15 months, USC Athletics representatives will contact Trojan Athletic Fund (TAF) members and invite them to visit the Coliseum Renovation Preview Center to consider available seating solutions that best suit their needs. Priority for seat selection will be determined by TAF membership level followed by lifetime giving to USC Athletics. Then, in the summer of 2018, remaining current season ticketholders will be contacted about their seating options. Every effort will be made to accommodate those who wish to continue to sit together.
USC Athletics is committed to making the re-seat as fan friendly as possible and providing affordable seating options to all. Approximately two-thirds of the seating in the renovated Coliseum will not require any Coliseum restoration gift. The remaining third will be designated for supporters who make a one-time Coliseum restoration gift and are members of the Trojan Athletic Fund. The one-time restoration gift ranges from $100 to $6,000 per seat, while Trojan Athletic Fund memberships begin at $200 annually. The restoration gift amounts, which are tax deductible and payable over four years, were determined based on the construction costs associated with seating enhancements throughout the stadium excluding the Scholarship Club Tower.
Student and band seats will not be relocated and USC will work to upgrade the student experience.
A major portion of the Coliseum’s $270-million renovation, announced in 2015, will begin following the upcoming 2017 season and will be completed for USC’s 2019 home opener. There will be limited impact in the 2018 season to some current season ticketholders who will be moved to temporary locations.
The renovation is being funded entirely by USC Athletics from Coliseum restoration 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. With an annual budget of $100 million, USC Athletics is one of just seven self-sustaining NCAA Division I programs in the nation, which means it receives no funding from tax appropriations or student fees.
USC is obligated under its long-term lease agreement to make significant improvements to the Coliseum. The renovation will 1.) ensure that the game-day experience provides all fans options to enjoy the stadium’s new amenities while recognizing the loyalty of Troy’s long-time fans, 2.) provide the Trojan football team with a first-class facility and a tremendous home field advantage, 3.) create long-term revenue streams so that USC Athletics can sustain its excellence across all sports for generations to come, and 4.) preserve the historical integrity of the Coliseum.
The Trojan Athletic Fund was founded in 1923 to provide funding necessary to sustain the excellence of USC Athletics’ varsity sports. The members of the Trojan Athletic Fund form a global group of more than 5,000 alumni, parents, former student-athletes and friends who directly contribute to the success of USC’s 650-plus student-athletes in all 21 sports by funding scholarships, including tuition, books, and room and board costs, at an annual cost of more than $19 million.
Some renovation to the Coliseum has already begun. New field and stadium lighting was installed for the 2016 season. New videoboards and scoreboards throughout the stadium will be in place for the 2017 season, replacing the boards that sat atop the peristyle and thereby restoring the iconic peristyle to more closely resemble the stadium’s original design.
Other previously-announced Coliseum renovations by 2019 will include: replacing every seat in the stadium and installing handrails throughout the stadium; updating Wi-Fi technology throughout the venue; adding new concession stands and improving existing stands; upgrading entry concourses; and replacing the electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems to meet current standards.