SBD/October 24, 2013/Facilities

USC Looking At Renovation Options Before Starting Work On L.A. Memorial Coliseum

USC played its first football game in the Coliseum more than 90 years ago
USC officials "want their plans firmly scripted and financially stable" before any renovation work begins on L.A. Memorial Coliseum, "but they haven't been sitting idly," according to Rich Hammond of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. USC Senior Associate AD Mark Jackson said that he and AD Pat Haden in recent months "have visited approximately 20 college and NFL stadiums to get a sense of what was possible." Haden said that USC has "contacted architectural firms to determine what type of work is feasible in a 90-year-old stadium, and is conducting surveys to get the public's pulse." USC will "do its best to brighten up the place," as improvements in maintenance and concessions already "have been made." New seats are possible "fairly soon," as well as "some type of end zone 'club' or suites, a new press box and locker rooms." USC is "trying to stop the Coliseum from becoming a relic," as Oct. 6 marked the 90th anniversary of the first USC football game there. A 98-year lease calls for USC to make at least $70M in improvements before '24. But "how will that money be spent, and how much will it truly buy?" Haden said, "We're trying to move as quickly as we can, but there's no giant rush to put forth a plan and break ground. And, quite honestly, the university will not let me do anything until we've raised a considerable amount of money, to be able to pay for the renovations" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 10/23).

STEALING HOME? In L.A., Gale Holland reported UCLA "will appeal a decision that could force it to give up its baseball stadium on land leased from the U.S. veterans' agency." U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero on Monday "rejected a bid by the university and the Brentwood School to overturn his August ruling striking down commercial leases" on the Department of Veterans Affairs' West L.A. campus. But he said that the schools "could appeal the August decision." Otero's ruling means UCLA's team "will stay at Jackie Robinson Stadium, where it has played for nearly 50 years, through the 2014 baseball season" (LATIMES.com, 10/22).
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