LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2008 -- The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission and USC have signed a new 25-year lease agreement, laying the groundwork for new enhancements to the historic facility.
"Signing of this document is a significant step forward in USC's efforts to repair and restore the Coliseum and ensure that USC is able to continue its long football tradition at this historic facility," said USC President Steven B. Sample. "We would like to thank the members of the Coliseum Commission, the Governor, and the Mayor and City Council members for their commitment to this vision."
Todd Dickey, USC's senior vice president for administration negotiated the agreement on behalf of the university. His comment: "This is an important step toward a newly reinvigorated and mutually supportive relationship between USC and the Coliseum Commission. Everyone on the Commission worked hard to quickly document and finalize this very complex, long term deal to the mutual benefit of USC and the Coliseum Commission, as well as to the benefit of all future visitors to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum."
Among the provisions accepted by both parties in the lease document are:
USC will receive a 25-year term lease with options to extend up to 47 years.
USC will pay a facility rent equivalent to 8 percent of all gross ticket sales for home football games.
USC will pay 50 percent of game day expenses within the stadium.
USC will pay the Coliseum Commission 8 percent of revenue collected from live television broadcast of football games which are attended by less than 70,000 people.
Minimum capacity for the stadium on game days will be 90,000 or more permanent seats.
USC will retain right of consent over any amateur or professional football team desiring to play in the Coliseum.
USC and the Coliseum Commission will cooperate in a Commission-led effort to acquire a naming rights sponsor for the facility.
The Coliseum Commission will implement a program of substantial capital improvements to replace and upgrade the sound and lighting system, upgrade elevators and escalators, upgrade and add additional restroom facilities, upgrade and add concession areas, replace fencing around the facility, replace all of the seating, replace the field and drainage system, upgrade the locker rooms, upgrade the video and score boards on the Peristyle end of the facility and add an additional video/score board to the west end of the Coliseum. Numerous life safety improvements will also be implemented.
USC will also have representation on the Coliseum Commission.
USC has been the primary football tenant of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for 85 years. Construction of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum named in honor of those who died in World War I began on December 21, 1921 and was completed on May 1, 1923. On October 6, 1923, in the first varsity football game held at the new stadium, the Trojans were victorious over Pomona College before a crowd of nearly 13,000.