The L.A. Coliseum and Peristyle (Al Naipo, L.A. Coliseum Commission)

The historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum celebrates its 100th anniversary this month, marking a century of memorable moments. The multi-purpose venue on Figueroa Street in Exposition Park is a living memorial to Los Angeles veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I and rededicated to all U.S. veterans of the war in 1968.

The Coliseum’s legacy of events includes two Summer Olympic Games, the 1972 Wattstax benefit concert to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the 1965 Watts riots, The Rolling Stones “Tattoo You” concert in 1981, and the NASCAR Busch Light Clash in 2022. The stadium has been home to USC Trojan football since October 1923.

“The Coliseum is a cultural institution that I grew up with,” said Holly J. Mitchell, LA County Supervisor, 2nd District. “My great grandmother’s home was across the street, so I have many fond memories of going there as a kid for firework shows and learning how to drive in the parking lot.”

Holly J. Mitchell, L.A. County Board of Supervisors – District 2 (Courtesy Photo)

“I’m honored to serve on the Coliseum Commission Board. Having a space like the Coliseum that has stood the test of time is a reminder of the lasting impact we can make when we care for each other and our cultural institutions,” she proclaimed.

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Managed and operated by the University of Southern California Auxiliary Services, the National Historic Landmark is jointly owned by the State of California’s Sixth District Agricultural Association, Los Angeles County, and the city of LA.

“The Coliseum is the heart of Los Angeles and represents the rich history of the city and the future that is to come,” said George L. Pla, President of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission. “The Commission is responsible for preserving and promoting this iconic landmark which was dedicated in 1923 to honor fallen U.S. Armed Forces personnel from the greater Los Angeles area.”

L.A. Memorial Coliseum Commission President George L. Pla (Al Naipo, L.A. Coliseum Commission)

“I look forward to working with all my colleagues on the Board as we continue to uphold our collective promise that the Coliseum belongs to the community and its people,” he declared.

The venue also has a special place in political history. John F. Kennedy accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 1960 on the steps below the peristyle under the Olympic flame, South African president Nelson Mandela addressed a sold-out crowd in 1990 after 27 years of political imprisonment, and Pope John Paul II hosted a Papal Mass in 1987 in front of a crowd of 103,854.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is that the Commission was able to open the grounds of the Coliseum to the public on a daily basis, free of charge, where visitors can take in 100 years of history,” stated Al Naipo, Chief Administrative Officer at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission.

L.A. Memorial Coliseum Commissiono Chief Administrative Officer and Security Al Naipo (Al Naipo, L.A. Coliseum Commission)

“There are 66 bronze plaques in the Coliseum Court of Honor recognizing individuals, teams and organizations who’ve made significant contributions to the legacy of the Coliseum and former Sports Arena. We’ve got 100 years under our belt, and we’re excited to see what the next century brings, and we hope the public will join us on this adventure,” he said.

In 2028, the Olympic Games will return to L.A., and the Coliseum will become the only venue in the world to host the world’s most prestigious sporting event three times. The opening and closing ceremonies will be held in the stadium, and the Olympic flame will burn bright once again over the City of Angels.

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