The Los Angeles Rams will move into their brand new $2.6 billion mega stadium in Inglewood in 2019. The state of the art complex includes a 70,000-plus seat stadium, entertainment center, complex for the NFL Network, residential housing as well as commercial establishments. In the meantime, the Rams will play at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons. Unfortunately, the Coliseum is far from state of the art and work needs to be done to get it up to par with NFL standards.
The Coliseum was built in 1923. It has essentially retained the same horseshoe design of the stadium with minor modifications over the years. The seating is showing signs of age; there are no luxury boxes in the stadium. The lighting is not up to NFL standards either. According to the LA Times’ Gary Klein, improving the lighting was one of the things brought up in a recent meeting with the team. Training rooms have to be upgraded to NFL standards as well.
The facilities on the field are not the only things that have to be upgraded to proper standards either. According to Don Banks of Sports Illustrated, metal detectors have to be installed at every entry point of the Coliseum. Necessary upgrades are being made to the facilities for radio and television broadcasts. In addition, infrastructure in the pressbox and the coaches’ boxes are going to be improved to meet NFL standards.
The seating capacity of the stadium. The L.A. Coliseum now holds over 93,000 seats, which is the seating capacity for USC Trojans football games. When the Rams first began rolling out the first season tickets a few months ago, they announced that the seating capacity at the Coliseum would be capped at 80,000 seats. Tarps are being placed on the peristyle end, because of poor sight lines distance from the playing field.
Most of the improvements are not going to be seen by the NFL fan on gameday. Instead, they are all being done to enhance the NFL broadcasting experience, while making communications between coaches from the press box and the sidelines easier to manage. The Rams hope with a lower seating capacity, the Coliseum will appear to be a more intimate and imposing venue on game day.
Sources: Serene Branson, KCBS TV, Gary Klein, LA Times, Jason Song, LA Times, Don Banks, Sports Illustrated, Sam Farmer, LA Times, USC Public Relations Staff.