Coliseum’s name could change with sponsorship

Per an agreement made with Fox Prevent months ago, USC is in an “exploratory phase” regarding the naming rights of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and other possible affiliated sales.

The stadium has avoided corporate sponsorship for nearly a century, and the idea of a name change has drawn media attention. Despite recent speculation, however, concerns about a “Pepsi Memorial Coliseum” or a “MasterCard Memorial Coliseum” may be premature. Sponsorship options that do not necessarily involve the Coliseum’s naming rights are also on the table, such as the sale of the university-owned 110 freeway sign, particular event sponsorships, field opportunities and the sale of other affiliated resources. The outcome depends largely on the best package procured by Fox Prevent. Currently, a change in naming rights could earn USC an estimated $3 million to $7 million per year.

Because the University has a $70 million obligation to make improvements to the stadium, all revenue from a resulting sponsorship will be put back into the upkeep and maintenance of the facility.

Joe Furin, Coliseum general manager, said the University is still exploring which direction to take the necessary renovation and that all current plans are only tentative and closed to the public.

Furin insisted that no matter the outcome of a resource sale, “Memorial Coliseum” would remain part of the stadium’s name. The Coliseum’s memorial designation was assigned when it opened in 1923 to honor WWI veterans and was later broadened to include all veterans.

The Coliseum’s history also contains such worldwide events as the 1932 Olympic games, an event that according to Furin “put the city on the map.”

As L.A. grew, the stadium attracted teams like the Dodgers and the Rams. There is currently discussion surrounding the possibility for the stadium to host an NFL football team, as part of USC’s initiative to revitalize the Coliseum and potentially finance renovations as well.