Posted: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 – 2:31 PM
(CNS) – The signature peristyle plaza at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will be named the Julia and George Argyros Plaza in recognition of a $7.5 million gift from the Orange County philanthropists, the University of Southern California announced Tuesday.
USC announced plans to renovate and restore the Coliseum in 2016. The estimated $270 million renovation, privately funded by the university, began last week and will be completed for the 2019 home opener of the USC Trojans football team.
Among the planned renovations is the restoration of the iconic peristyle plaza, built in 1923 and unveiled during the 1932 Olympic Games. The arches and columns of the peristyle, along with the cauldron lit during the 1932 and 1984 Olympics and countless other events, is known as the signature feature of the stadium.
USC President C. L. Max Nikias said that as a result of the Argyros Family Foundation’s support, “Trojan football will have a world-class home, and the Olympic flame will continue to burn brightly above the Coliseum.”
The stadium is the permanent home to the USC football team and the temporary home of the Rams until 2020, when the team is scheduled to move into its new stadium that is under construction in Inglewood.
USC Athletics is paying for the renovations, and it marks the first time in several decades the Coliseum has received a major upgrade. The Coliseum is scheduled to play a major role when Los Angeles hosts the Olympic Games again in 2028.
The renovations include replacing every seat in the stadium, installing new lighting and concession stands, and plumbing and electrical upgrades. One major feature will be a new structure on the south side of the stadium that will include suites, club seats, a press box and a new concourse. As a result of the changes, seating in the stadium will be reduced from about 94,000 to 77,500.
“On behalf of our entire family, we are very excited to have the opportunity to participate in the renovation of this beautiful and iconic stadium,” Julia and George Argyros said in a statement. “The Coliseum means so much to the Trojan Family and the residents of Southern California. This gift reflects our belief in supporting important institutions that have an impact across communities.”