Huge improvements at the aging Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will be in place when the USC Trojans host Fresno State Aug. 30. USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said this year’s changes, aimed at a unique fan experience, will be followed by a remodeling project now being planned. This fall, people partaking goodies at the traditionally extravagant tailgate parties will be challenged by improved concession stands offering smoked ribs, sliced steak sandwiches, artisan sausage, signature pizza, fried chicken and funnel cakes. Gluten-free and vegetarian dishes will be sold to health-conscious Trojans as well. The number of cashiers at the ground-level stands has been doubled, and the checkouts redesigned to eliminate long queues, USC said.
Outside the Coliseum, all Trojan ticket holders will be able to use two Coliseum Clubs until 30 minutes before kickoff. The clubs will be reserved for Trojan Athletic Fund members at 30 minutes to kickoff, and then during and after the game. Back inside, live interviews with USC football coach Steve Sarkasian will be shown on the giant video board. The board will also show replays, enhanced by additional camera angles and on-field microphones.
Ticketholders will be given the option of having their seat assignments and entry passes emailed to their smartphones. Restrooms have new fixtures, lighting and paint. Improved parking entrances and exits have been planned with Caltrans and the city, and a taxi stand has been established on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Wireless phone services have been bolstered, signs replaced and the landscaping improved. Users and ambassadors will get bolstered customer service training, the school promised.
UCLA fans will not get to test the improvements until next year, as this year’s big game is at the Rose Bowl. USC and the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission entered into a lease agreement for the state-owned landmark Coliseum last year. The Coliseum opened in 1923. It was the first building to host two Olympic games, in 1932 and 1984.
It has hosted Super Bowl games and even a World Series, played by the Dodgers in 1959, before Dodger stadium was opened.