USC reportedly agrees to massive naming rights deal for LA Coliseum

LA Memorial Coliseum has been the home of USC football since 1923. (AP)
LA Memorial Coliseum has been the home of USC football since 1923. (AP)

A change is reportedly coming to one of the most iconic venues in college football.

Sports Business Journal reported on Thursday that the naming rights of LA Memorial Coliseum, the longtime home of USC football, have been acquired by United Airlines. The deal is worth in excess of $70 million and spans “over 15 years,” SBJ is reporting, making it the most expensive naming-rights deal for a college football stadium.

For USC, the money from the deal will help with the costly renovations coming to the stadium. As of now, an official name for the stadium — and how United will be incorporated — is unclear.

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From SBJ:

Fox Sports, through its partnership with USC, has been attempting to sell naming rights to one of the nation’s most recognizable venues since ’15.

The revenue from a naming-rights deal is expected to help offset costs of the $270M renovation to the Coliseum, school officials have said. The renovation, which is in the early stages, is supposed to be completed in time for the ’19 football season. How United’s brand name will be attached is not clear, but school and Fox officials in the past have said “Memorial Coliseum” would be retained in the name.

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In addition to USC, the Coliseum is also the current home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams. The team announced on Thursday that it will continue playing its games at the stadium through, at the very least, the 2019 season. The Rams and Los Angeles Chargers are slated to move to a new stadium in Inglewood, California, but recent rainfall in the area has caused delays in the construction of the new stadium.

When the Rams moved from St. Louis to LA ahead of the 2016 season, the team was set to share the Coliseum for just two seasons before moving to Inglewood for the 2019 campaign. The Rams’ contract with USC at the Coliseum included the option to stay for an additional year if necessary, the Los Angeles Times reported. As a result of the delay, the Rams will utilize that option.

As for the Coliseum itself, part of the renovation process has already begun with two new video boards being installed in the upper east end of the stadium. Additional construction will begin after the 2017 season.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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