The LA Memorial Coliseum is one step closer to getting a $270 million privately funded upgrade after the University of Southern California (USC) received approval from the Coliseum Commission.
The Los Angeles bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games made the announcement Wednesday describing the approval as a “a significant step in the modernization of LA 2024’s proposed Ceremonies and track-and-field venue.”
The plans will now go to LA City Council for final approval before USC commences renovation in Fall 2017, with works scheduled for completion by August 2019. The renovations will be financed entirely by USC, with no taxpayer funding.
The LA Coliseum, one of the most iconic venues of the Olympic Games, was previously the site for the Ceremonies and Athletics competitions during the 1932 and 1984 Summer Games and is now used to host the USC Trojans and LA Rams football teams.
The USC renovations will preserve the LA Coliseum’s notable ‘peristyle’ façade, while introducing the cutting edge sports facilities and amenities of a modern world-class stadium. According to an LA 2024 statement these will include “upgraded training, new recovery and changing facilities, wider seats, more aisles, more legroom, modernized restrooms, brand new hospitality suites, lounges, press facilities, concessions and lighting systems, plus gameday enhancements for the digital age such as updated Wi-Fi technology and two additional big screens.”
The renovation will also significantly improve and enlarge the stadium’s accessible seating areas.
For the Games, LA 2024 will need to install a temporary overlay to make the stadium suitable for Athletics events. This includes “a temporary athletics deck for competition, with warm-up and operations facilities housed underneath, ensuring maximum convenience for athletes.”
For the ceremonies, the LA Coliseum is proposed as part of a two stadium concept where the new LA Rams facility will be the main venue and the Coliseum will screen the live events as well as provide additional entertainment and host the final leg of the torch relay as it passes on its way to the Olympic Cauldron.
LA 2024 CEO Gene Sykes said “As a bid, LA 2024 is incredibly fortunate to have ambitious, forward-thinking partners committed to keeping their venues at the cutting edge of athlete experience, sports presentation and fan engagement through consistent private investment.
“It means Los Angeles can deliver a spectacular stage for the Olympians and Paralympians of 2024 without expending Organizing Committee resources on costly, complex construction projects.”
The strategy will keep Games organizing costs low with reduced risk and allow the bid to deliver a Games concept that does not include a single new permanent venue.
The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) evaluation team will be able to visit the venue in person when it arrives in LA Tuesday for a three-day visit of the city.
LA is competing against Paris to host the 2024 Games. The IOC will choose a winner at its all-members session to be held in Lima, Peru on September 13.