Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – USC Trojans
Restoring The Conquest
The USC Trojan football program has a longstanding history of success, boasting 11 National Titles, 6 Heisman Trophy winners and producing countless NFL players. After a 2 year ban on post season play and being limited on player scholarships, the USC football program is gradually making its way toward the top of the football ranks, winning the Pac-12 South in 2 of the last 3 seasons including a return to The Rose Bowl in 2016.
Food & Beverage 4
Every food item that you could possibly think of is here. Beyond the traditional dogs and burgers, the options are abundant, ranging from gourmet hot dogs from Daug Haus, Aussie Pies, Tamales, Kahlua Pork Bowls to other offerings ranging from Mexican to Asian. Corn Dogs Gone Wild features a huge Hand Dipped Corn Dog dipped in bacon infused corn bread batter, as well as a Chicken In a Waffle, a good sized chicken thigh inside a sweet waffle that comes with maple syrup.
Also on the southwest concourse you will find Randy’s Donuts. If that name sounds familiar, you’ve probably seen it’s signature Donut on the roof in several TV appearances, most notably Randy Newman’s music video I Love L.A. The vendor here has a replica of it’s signature feature atop their stand so it would be very hard to miss.
Beverages available are Coca Cola products, bottled water, as well as fresh squeezed lemonade. Domestic and premium beer from 805 Beer are also available until the 3rd quarter.
Should you decide to start your pregame festivities on campus, you will want to make a trip to Heritage Hall. Located in the center of campus, inside you will find numerous exhibits, photos and plaques paying tribute to the many Trojan great athletes and championship teams. You will also want to check out the Hall of Champions, where you can view the 6 Heisman Trophies, as well as the statue of Tommy Trojan doing his signature pregame stabbing of the field with his sword. The bronze statue of Tommy Trojan that is undoubtedly recognized by both admirers and detractors is located near the campus bookstore. Not only is the statue of Tommy Trojan a huge symbol of USC, it serves as good meeting place for fans prior to the game. Every year during the week leading up to their annual rivalry game with UCLA, the statue is wrapped in duct tape and guarded by the Trojan Knights to protect their beloved Tommy from any potential vandalism that may be caused by their rivals from Westwood.
As fans taking part in their on-campus pregame tailgate/festivities make their way to the Coliseum, another one of their traditions is the kicking of the flagpoles for good luck. The flagpoles are at the end of Trousdale Walk and Jefferson Blvd.
The Spirit of Troy Marching Band, easily one of the most recognizable collegiate bands, is an integral part of the game day experience, as well as their mascot Traveler. Aside from their huge presence at sporting events, the Trojan Marching Band has made numerous other TV and movie appearances, as well as performing on Fleetwood Mac’s, Tusk. The Trojan Marching Band and Traveler are believed to have a huge impact not only on the team, but to the opponents as well. The sights and sounds of both the band and Traveler will be engrained in your brain from the pregame festivities through the final whistle. Another tradition is fans raising their index and middle fingers to create a “V” for victory after a win.
Two songs you will hear constantly are “Tribute to Troy” and “Fight On.” “Conquest” is played following every USC touchdown. During “Conquest,” Traveler VII, a live pure white Arabian/Tennessee Walker horse, trots out of the Coliseum tunnel from end zone to end zone along the sidelines behind the Trojan while wielding a sword high overhead.
Another tradition involving Traveler is the lighting of the torch prior to the 4th quarter, which the famed horse once again lets loose along the north sidelines toward the east end zone, wielding his sword toward the Coliseum torch, thus “lighting” the torch.
The area around USC continues its resurgence as more mixed-use development continues in what will be known as USC Village. Across the street from the Coliseum on Figueroa is upscale student housing known as Tuscany. On the street level are such eateries as The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Quizno’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Gogi’s Korean Grill, Chick-fil-A and Chipotle.
On the grounds of the Coliseum is Exposition Park. If you are looking for other activities prior to the game, the Natural History Museum, the California African American Museum, as well as the Natural History Museum and the California ScienCenter are located inside the park. To be able to visit all the museums and fully take in the experience, you would probably need two days. If you’re limited on time, you may want to visit the California ScienCenter, home to the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
USC fans are used to success. The fans, spoiled by their success, can be a demanding bunch and are not shy in voicing their displeasure toward the team, as recently dismissed coaches Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin will attest. With a recent Rose Bowl victory and the program capturing their first conference title since 2008, Trojans fans are coming back in droves, backing up what is already a daunting home field advantage for the Men of Troy.
The Coliseum is about three miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles and adjacent to the USC campus. The stadium is most easily reached from the 10 or the 110, both of which unfortunately have some of the most congested traffic in the area. The good news is that if you can beat the traffic, Interstate 5, LAX airport, Interstate 405, or the beach cities are not far away. There is not a single large parking lot, but rather multiple satellite lots (with 20,000 spaces) that are typically priced based on proximity to the stadium with prices starting at $25.
Should you decide to use public transit rather than drive, the MTA’s Metro Expo Line has a station conveniently located across the street from campus, a short walk away as you walk through Exposition Park. A day pass, along with a TAP card is a great bargain at $8. The Expo Line also offers convenient connections with other MTA rail and bus lines should you want to explore more of L.A. throughout the day.
Once inside the stadium you will find a concourse the encircles the entire stadium. As I stated earlier the food options are abundant so you may want to arrive early, walk around and explore the options. If your seats are on the upper level, expect some rather intimidating inclines. Fortunately, for those who are seated on the upper level who do not wish to navigate up the stairs, 3 escalators, 2 of them on the south stands, are on site.
Return on Investment 4
Due to the large following that USC has garnered over the years, most seats go for the flat fee of $55.00. Of course for the annual premier games (Notre Dame or UCLA), expect to pay a price anywhere from $75 on up. In spite of USC’s long and storied football tradition, tickets for most games are always available. In the time USC has called The Coliseum home, only 9 times have they averaged more than 77,000 fans per season. The Coliseum’s size and L.A’s vast entertainment options certainly have to be 2 of the factors.
A good number of seats, particularly those on the east end of the stadium are quite a distance from the playing field so you may want to do some research before making your ticket purchase. Otherwise, if you are just looking to take in the action regardless of your seating location, expect one of the more memorable experiences in college football with plenty of USC’s proud traditions to take in
During your visit to the stadium, be sure to walk by the arches and check out the “Court of Honor.” This memorial has many plaques to recognize the events or achievements that have occurred at the stadium. Notable names such as Daniel Reeves, Jesse Owens, Pope John Paul II, Jackie Robinson, John Wooden, and Jerry West all hold a place in the Court. If the Olympic rings and arches weren’t enough, check out the “Olympic Gateway” in front of the Coliseum. Created in 1984 by Robert Graham, this structure rises 25 feet above ground and has headless male and female bodies made of bronze.
Rivalry games create a great atmosphere at the Coliseum. The annual game with Notre Dame is for the Jeweled Shillelagh. The two teams combined have more national championship teams, Heisman Trophy winners, and All-Americans than any other college football matchup. Since 1926, the two have met every year.
Let’s not forget the Pac-12 crosstown rivalry game with UCLA. One of the more intense rivalries, these two teams both called The Colisuem home until 1981, when UCLA would move to The Rose Bowl in 1982. Until 1982, both schools donned their home jerseys, a tradition that has since been restored in 2008, making for one of the more colorful rivalries between Cardinal and Gold clashing against Blue and Gold. Every year, the two play for the Victory Bell, the frame painted either Red or Blue depending on who has possession.
Despite being one of the oldest facilities in college football, it appears that the Coliseum still has many more chapters to be written.Future renovations are currently in the works for The Grand Old Lady.
One thing that should be restored is the view of the iconic arches. Currently, the arches are obstructed and that greatly takes away from the stadium’s ambiance. Yes, history and aesthetics are a very important element to the atmosphere of the game day experience to longtime followers.
Also among the proposed renovations will be the addition of more luxury suites. Long a huge source of additional revenue in any level of sports, the suites would be located along the south sidelines along with additional media press boxes. These changes should no doubt restore the look of the Coliseum’s historic peristyle, giving the arches that visible and awe inspiring presence.
Need more tips regarding USC football, Los Angeles, or other venues throughout Southern California? Shoot me an email, Andrei.Ojeda@stadiumjourney.com. You can also drop me a line and follow me on Twitter @good_drei.
Radisson Hotel Los Angeles Midtown at USC
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Los Angeles, CA 90007
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Los Angeles, CA 90006
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The USC Trojan football program has a longstanding history of success, boasting 11 National Titles, 6 Heisman Trophy winners and producing countless NFL players. After a 2 year ban on post season play and being limited on player scholarships, the USC football program is gradually making its way toward the top of the football ranks. In 2013, Southern Cal made a deal to gain control of “The Grand Old Lady.” Proposals have recently been submitted for future renovations which are awaiting approval from the Coliseum Commission. The Coliseum opened in 1923 and has been the home of US football since. If approved, the much needed renovations would not only reduce the seating capacity to around 77,500, but also provide fans with a much improved game day experience, including rails along the stairs to assist fans as they descend to their seats.