A pair of life-sized bronze nude statues of male and female athletes atop a 20,000
pound (9,000 kg) post-and-lintel frame formed the Olympic Gateway created by Robert
Graham for the 1984 games. The statues, modeled on water polo player Terry
Schroeder and long jumper from Guyana, Jennifer Innis, who participated in the games,
were noted for their anatomical accuracy.
The official ground breaking ceremony took place on December 21, 1921 with work being completed less than two years later, on May 1, 1923.
When the Coliseum opened in 1923, it was already the largest stadium in Los Angeles with a capacity of 76,000. Initial construction costs were
$800,000. With the arrival of the Olympics only 10 years later, the stadium was expanded to 101,574 and the now-signature torch was added.
For a time it was known as Olympic Stadium. The Olympic cauldron torch which burned through both Games remains above the peristyle at one
end of the stadium as a reminder of this, as do the Olympic rings symbols over one of the main entrances.
|Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
The Olympic Cauldron (also known as the Olympic Torch) was built for the stadium's two Olympic games. It is still lit
during the fourth quarter of USC football games, and other special occasions (i.e., when the Olympics are being held in
another city). In 2004, the cauldron was lit non-stop for seven days in tribute to Ronald Reagan, who had died; and was lit
again in April 2005 following the death of Pope John Paul II, who had held mass at the Coliseum during his visit to Los
Angeles in 1987. The torch was also lit for over a week following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Largest Attendances at the Coliseum
1. 104,953 — 1947 vs. Notre Dame
2. 103,303 — 1939 vs. UCLA
3. 103,000 — 1945 vs. UCLA
4. 102,548 — 1954 vs. UCLA
5. 102,050 — 1947 vs. UCLA
USC has played football in the Coliseum ever since
the grand stadium was built in 1923. In fact, the
Trojans played in the first varsity football game ever
held there (beating Pomona College, 23-7, on Oct.
6, 1923). That game was preceded that day by the
USC freshman team's 30-0 win over Santa Ana High.
The 1998 season marked the 75th anniversary of
USC football in the Coliseum.
There have been 12 seasons--1923 to 1925, 1995
to 2000 and 2002 to 2004--that USC was the
stadium's sole football tenant. Prior to the 1993
football season, the Coliseum underwent a $15
million renovation. The Coliseum's floor was lowered
11 feet and the running track was removed to create
a more intimate stadium. Fourteen new rows of
seats (approximately 8,000 seats) were added down
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is a large outdoor sports stadium located in University Park, Los Angeles, California that has hosted two
Olympics and is home to the University of Southern California Trojans football team. Along with the adjacent Los Angeles Memorial Sports
Arena, it is located in Exposition Park, just south of the campus of the University of Southern California (USC). The stadium is owned by the State
of California, but managed (and leased) by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission.
low, bringing fans closer to the playing field (the first rows of seats between the goalposts are a maximum of 54 feet from the sideline, instead
of the previous 120 feet). During this renovation, the lockerrooms and public restrooms were also upgraded. Southern California's damaging
January, 1994 earthquake hit the Coliseum hard, requiring some $93 million of repairs. And, in the summer of 1995, a new $6 million press
box was constructed.
The Coliseum has a present full-capacity of 92,000 seats (almost all are chair-back seats). However, for most USC games, a retractable fabric
covers many seats, bringing the Coliseum's capacity to about 68,000. There are approximately 25,000 seats from goal line to goal line,
including both the north and south sides.