It’s Official: USC Signs Coliseum Agreement

Left to right: Councilman Tom LaBonge, Supervisor Don Knabe, Councilman Curren Price, California Science Center Board of Directors Chair Fabian Wesson, USC President C.L. Max Nikias, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

The University of Southern California is now set to manage the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in a lease agreement that will ensure preservation of the historic venue.

The agreement, which was signed this week at the coliseum, guarantees a restored public stadium, which is a federal and state historic landmark, with USC committing to make extensive renovations. The university, which was only 43 years old when the Coliseum opened in 1923, also will manage the operations of the Sports Arena in Exposition Park.

Celebrating the occasion, USC President Max Nikias recalled the unique history of the venue, noting that it is the only facility in the country to have hosted two Olympics and two Super Bowl games and a World Series. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984. USC, he said, would discharge its responsibilities to the Coliseum “with honor.”

The California Science Center Board of Directors signed a new lease agreement with the University of Southern California Tuesday, with the university agreeing to invest $70 million to rehabilitate the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

USC has already invested millions into the Exposition Park neighborhood, helping it become a destination for school children and residents alike. The park is home to three museums including the Museum of Natural History, the California Science Center and the California African American Museum.

The lease agreement was supported by all of the museums in Exposition Park. The Coliseum is also the home field of the USC Trojan football team.

“This university has invested millions into the neighborhood and it has served as a springboard for the advancement of thousands of people, many from this community,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, also a member of the Coliseum Commission. The commission will be reduced in size and will administer relations between USC and the State, City and County, which continue to own the coliseum. “With this agreement, we are counting on USC to protect and restore this landmark for years to come.”