Do you remember the 1984 Summer Olympics? In a months-long runup that seemed fueled more by dreams and rumors than reality, homeowners imagined renting their homes to visitors for fabulous sums, commuters bewailed the expected parking-lot conditions of the freeways, and residents scattered to the four winds in anticipation of crowds and chaos. In the event, little of it materialized. Angelenos were gracious hosts, the freeways were entirely navigable, and people young and old lined the boulevards to see the Olympic torch.
Well, Los Angeles has just ten years to wait: the 2028 Olympics will be here before you know it. Between now and then, we’ll see an abundance of improvements, and one of the biggest will be the $270 million upgrade to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which hosts many of the Olympics events. The Coliseum, which is operated by the University of Southern California, will also be renamed, becoming the United Airlines Memorial Coliseum in August 2019.
Built in 1923 as a memorial to American veterans of World War I, the Coliseum has retained its original arched colonnade, which was designated a state and National Historic Landmark in 1984, and which will be restored during construction. The 18-acre Coliseum campus, with a seating capacity of more than 93,000, will see numerous improvements over the coming months, including all new seating, new aisles and new aisle handrails, upgraded Wi-Fi and sound, new field and stadium lighting, and a Club Tower with rooftop deck, press area, suites, club seats, loge boxes, and other seating.
The Coliseum will remain open during the renovation, though some seating will be affected by construction. Completion is expected in 2019, with plenty of time to prepare the rest of L.A. for the 2028 Olympics. Meanwhile, you can watch the progress online.