University of Southern California announced today that they have signed a licensing agreement with United Airlines for the naming rights for the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The home of the USC Trojans will be named United Airlines Memorial Coliseum beginning in August of 2019.
Naming rights to the city landmark were reportedly worth $69 million for 16 years. As part of the agreement, United Airlines will also become the official airline of USC Athletics.
“The university has a time-honored commitment to the Coliseum, serving as its longest enduring tenant. USC is honored to be the caretaker of this Los Angeles treasure,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias in a release. “Together with United, we can ensure the Coliseum’s future as a world-class venue and true community asset.”
USC operates the Coliseum under a 98-year-lease agreement with the city, county and state. That lease included provisions to secure naming rights that would help underwrite the restoration.
In preparation for the 2028 Summer Olympics being held in Los Angeles, the Coliseum is expected to undertake $270 million in renovations. The renovations will bring modern amenities to the almost 100-year old venue.
“United has been a part of the Los Angeles community for more than 80 years. Sponsoring the Memorial Coliseum, an athletic and architectural icon, as well as USC, an intellectual and cultural beacon, reaffirms our broader commitment to serving the people, communities and business of this region,” said Janet Lamkin, President, California for United Airlines. “These investments to renovate and improve the stadium, as well as to sponsor the USC Trojans as they pursue excellence on and off the field, reinforce our overall investment in this vital market, while enhancing United’s brand presence outside of the airport in one of the nation’s largest cities.”
As part of the renovation, the iconic peristyle will be restored, honoring its original design. Improvements made possible in part by the United naming rights agreement include additional aisles, handrails, wider seats, more legroom, cup holders, updated Wi-Fi, concession expansion and improvements, along with updated electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems. Audio and video systems also are being upgraded.
“The restoration of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is a vital step forward to a more dynamic 9th District,” said Los Angeles City Councilman and Coliseum Commission President Curren Price in a release. “Exposition Park is undergoing a renaissance of sorts that is bringing with it much prosperity in the form of jobs, economic growth and community benefits unlike anything we’ve seen before. I want to thank USC for the major investment in our community, which will have a lasting, positive impact in the lives of current and future generations.”
The Coliseum has been home to USC’s Trojans since opening in 1923 and has hosted two Super Bowls, a World Series, and two Olympiads. In 2028, the Coliseum will become the only venue to host three Olympics.
Until 2019, the Coliseum is also the host to the NFL Rams which will continue despite the renovations.
A new Scholarship Club Tower will feature suites, loge boxes, club seats and a lounge. These amenities will provide donors with the opportunity to further underwrite the Coliseum restoration, as well as support the Trojan Athletic Fund, which will raise the balance of the funds needed to complete the restoration and upgrade.
United Airlines also will become the official airline of USC Athletics as part of the agreement.
Since opening almost 95 years ago, the Coliseum has welcomed over 118 million visitors at more than 4,500 events. Originally commissioned as a memorial to honor Los Angeles World War I veterans, it was later rededicated in 1968, the 50th anniversary of the Armistice, to include all who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I. The Coliseum was declared a state and national historic landmark in 1984.