Continuing the ongoing makeover of South Los Angeles, major construction began this week on the $270 million renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The renovation was delayed for a week due to the Los Angeles Rams entering the playoffs, but was cleared to begin after the team’s Jan. 6 playoff loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
The project is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2019 football season. The stadium is the permanent home to the USC football team and the temporary home of the Rams until 2020, when the team is scheduled to move into its new stadium that is under construction in Inglewood.
USC Athletics is paying for the renovations and it marks the first time in several decades the Coliseum has received a major upgrade. The Coliseum hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1984 and is scheduled to play a major role when Los Angeles hosts the Games again in 2028.
Tim Tessalone, a spokesman for USC Athletics, said construction would continue through the 2018 football season and only be halted on game days. He also said the Rams’ playoff run set the construction back one week but should not impact the overall schedule.
The renovations will include replacing every seat in the stadium, installing new lighting and concession stands, and plumbing and electrical upgrades. One major feature will be a new structure on the south side of the stadium that will include suites, club seats, a press box and a new concourse.
As a result of the changes, seating in the stadium will be reduced from about 94,000 to 77,500.