LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — From two Olympic Games to the first Super Bowl fifty years ago, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has a rich and storied history.
Now, the stadium may have to get prepared for a blast from the past as the Rams, who played here until 1981, prepare to take the field again.
In fact, the Rams will call the Coliseum home for three seasons until the Inglewood project is ready.
“The NFL has walked this grass. They’re happy with it. We should be just fine with this turf,” said Joe Furin, the coliseum’s general manager.
“There are things we don’t necessarily meet NFL standards. The question is going to be, ‘Will the Rams want them on short-term basis or be able to live with what we have?’ ” he said.
One such thing may be the stadium lights.
“There’s a range on how low or how bright they can be. We’re on the lower end right now. The NFL standards are a little higher than that,” he said.
And the Trojan-branded locker room.
Furin says real estate is tight and there’s not much room to build anything new.
“The challenges are going to be on Saturday and Sunday, changing out from a USC look and branding to whatever the Rams branding is,” he said.
But Furin says, just like the Staples Center flips the floor, they’ll flip the field.
USC plans to spend $270 million to upgrade everything down to the seats on the aging stadium. Hosting an NFL team like the Rams will certainly help with that cost.
Those renovations won’t start until 2019 after the Rams are set to move.
The NFL has used temporary collegiate stadiums before. Two years ago, the NFL and the Vikings spent nearly $10 million to upgrade TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota, so they’ll likely kick in for upgrades here.
“I talked with the head coach for the now Los Angeles Rams Jeff Fisher and he made it clear that the only thing that they need is good seats and green grass and they will do the rest,” said County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Ridley-Thomas is the president of the Coliseum Commission. He says hosting the Rams is a chance for Angelenos to root for the home team while watching history repeat itself.
“People will have that as an extra, added feature of what will make the next three seasons very special right here in Exposition Park,” he said.