Fans of Trojan football can expect major changes at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as the University of Southern California unveils its plan to reduce the stadium's seating by 17 percent—or 16,000 seats—as part of a proposed 2019 renovation.
The plan also calls for relocation of coveted season-ticket holder seating and will require one-time donations to USC's athletic program of between $100 and $6,000—as well as membership in the annual Trojan Athletic Fund—to access other desirable seats in the lower part of the stadium, the Los Angeles Times reported:
Plans call for new seats — the model and color are still under consideration — wider aisles in some areas and a tower with luxury boxes and club seats on the stadium’s south side. The changes will shrink the stadium’s capacity by about 16,000 seats, from about 94,000 to 77,500.
The renovation will add improvements such as additional aisles, widened seats and more leg room in many sections, as well as the construction of the Scholarship Club Tower that will include suites, loge boxes, club seats, a new concourse and a new press box, USC announced.
About 9,000 prime midfield seats will be removed to make room for the tower, the Times reported.
Because the changes may anger some of USC's most ardent fans, USC will reach out to its major donors and season-ticket holders for input. The university has already posted a season-ticket holder plan and a priority seating plan for existing Trojan Athletic Fund members.
Much of the work on the $270 million renovation will begin following the 2017 season, with a completion date before USC's 2019 home opener.
During the 2018 season, some current season-ticket holders will be moved to temporary locations, the university said.
USC said it is obligated under its Coliseum lease to make the improvements:
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.