USC-driven construction starts on renovations to Coliseum
By Joey Kaufman
The once-proposed changes to the Coliseum are now underway.
Construction began Monday on USC’s $270 million project to renovate the historic stadium at Exposition Park in Los Angeles, according to a school spokesman.
The start of construction had been delayed about a week while the Rams, who shared the Coliseum this past season, hosted the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC wild-card playoff game Saturday night. Rain on Monday in L.A. did not delay the start of the project, the school also said.
Senior associate athletic director Steve Lopes said earlier in the fall that construction was scheduled to begin once the Rams’ season ended, which was concluded with their 26-13 loss to Atlanta.
The timeline of the renovation is not expected to be impacted.
Had the Rams instead defeated the Falcons, construction would have been delayed an additional week and possibly longer if they won in the divisional round and hosted the NFC championship Jan. 21.
An official groundbreaking ceremony will be held later this month
The project, scheduled to be completed by the 2019 season, commences the first major upgrades for the Coliseum in two decades.
Capacity will ultimately shrink from about 94,000 to 77,500 and include the addition of luxury boxes and club suites.
Construction will start with the building of a so-called scholarship tower on the south side that will hold the luxury boxes and club suites. It will halt in August prior to the Rams’ first preseason game, then resume once their 2018 season ends.
Capacity will be about 80,000 in 2018 while the renovation is underway, prompting USC to twice reseat season-ticket holders for this fall and in 2019.
The Rams will play two more seasons at the Coliseum before moving to their new stadium in Inglewood in 2020.
Under its lease, USC is required to fund the upgrades for the Coliseum after it obtained management control […]