The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, one of the most historic sports venues in the nation, sold its naming rights to United Airlines in a lucrative deal that was announced by USC during a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday.
The agreement, which spans 16 years and is reportedly worth $69 million, will rename the iconic stadium the United Airlines Memorial Coliseum beginning in August of 2019 and will help fund a $270 million renovation that is already underway.
The Coliseum has been home to the USC Trojans football team since 1923 and will house the Los Angeles Rams for two more seasons, until their new stadium in Inglewood, California, is ready in 2020. The Coliseum will also host its third Olympics in 2028.
Leading up to the name change, the Coliseum will undergo a major overhaul that will implement luxury suites and shrink overall capacity to about 78,000. The renovations will add additional aisles and handrails, install wider seats with more legroom, update stadium Wi-Fi, and upgrade concessions.
USC operates the Coliseum under a 98-year lease agreement with the city, county and state.
“The university has a time-honored commitment to the Coliseum, serving as its longest enduring tenant,” USC president C.L. Max Nikias said in a statement announcing the first naming-rights deal in Coliseum history. “USC is honored to be the caretaker of this Los Angeles treasure. Together with United, we can ensure the Coliseum’s future as a world-class venue and true community asset.”