Last year, USC sold the naming rights to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for $69 million to United Airlines.
There was backlash then to the name change, but with new university president Carol Folt taking over the reigns, the fight has been renewed, with Supervisor Janice Hahn and a veterans group taking issue with the name change.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was originally dedicated to WWI veterans, and was rededicated in 1968 to all Americans who served in the Great War. Supervisor Hahn has argued that changing the name now would be disrespectful to its history in the city, and that there is a potential compromise in renaming the field but not the stadium itself.
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We reached out to USC and they provided us with this statement:
In 2012 the Coliseum Commission agreed, 8 to 1, along with the State, to extend to USC a master lease to operate the Coliseum through 2111. The contract called for USC to improve the Coliseum, including finding a facility naming sponsorship, as long as the words “Memorial Coliseum” remained in the stadium’s new name. USC’s stewardship has been exceptional. The university’s commitment to veterans is longstanding and this naming rights agreement provides an investment to make sure the historic venue is preserved for future generations and continues to honor veterans.
Janice Hahn, Los Angeles County Supervisor representing District 4, which stretches from Marina del Rey, down to San Pedro and east, encompassing Long Beach and Diamond Bar
Todd Dickey, senior vice president emeritus of USC; he was directly engaged in the lease negotiations with the Los Angeles Coliseum Commission from 2011 to 2013
Chris Hartweg, CEO and publisher at Team Marketing Report, a sports business publication based in Chicago that follows the business of sports, sponsorships, naming rights and fan engagement.