The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is a large outdoor
sports stadium located in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California, near
the campus of the University of Southern California. It is sometimes
nicknamed The Grand Old Lady.
LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM
South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California90037
Trojans (NCAA, 1923-Present)
UCLA Bruins (NCAA, ?-1982)
Summer Olympics (1932, 1984)
Los Angeles Rams (NFL, 1946-1979)
Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB, 1958-1961)
Los Angeles Chargers (AFL, 1960)
Los Angeles Raiders (NFL, 1982-1994)
Los Angeles Express (USFL, 1983-1985)
Los Angeles Xtreme (XFL, 2001)
Field - 250 (1958), 251.6 (1959)
Left-Center - 425 (1958), 417 (1959)
Center Field - 425 (1958), 420 (1959)
Right-Center - 440 ('58), 375 ('59)
Right Field - 301 (1958), 300 (1959)
Backstop - 60 (1958), 66 (1959)
Originally built in 1922, the Coliseum served as the primary track and
field venue and site of the opening and closing ceremonies of both the
1932 and 1984 Olympic Games. The Olympic cauldron which burned through the
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. A
pair of life-sized bronze 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 a
waterpolo player and a sprinter who participated in the games, were noted
for their anatomical accuracy.
Many other events have been held at the Coliseum over the years, and
only a few are listed here. For many years, it served as the home football
stadium for both the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans, although in 1982 UCLA
moved its home games to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. USC's agreement to play
all its home games at the Coliseum was a contributing factor to its
to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum!
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The former Cleveland Rams of the National Football League relocated to the
Coliseum in 1946, becoming the Los Angeles Rams; but the team later
relocated again, first to Anaheim in 1979, then to St. Louis, Missouri in
1995. In 1960 the American Football League's Los Angeles Chargers played
at the Coliseum before relocating to San Diego the next year.
In 1982 the Rams were temporarily replaced as tenants by the former
Oakland Raiders, however this team subsequently returned to Oakland in
1995, leaving the Coliseum without a professional football tenant for the
first time since the close of World War II. The most recent pro football
tenant has been the short-lived Los Angeles Xtreme, the first and only
champion of the XFL.
The Coliseum was also the site of the very first NFL-AFL Championship
Game in January 1967, an event since given the modest name of the Super
Bowl. It also hosted the Super Bowl in 1973.
The Olympic Cauldron is lit during football games, and other special
occasions. The torch was also lit for over a week following the September
11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum!
configured for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Notice the large net in left field and the
large foul territory on the third base
side compared with the small foul area on
the first base side.
image courtesy of Wikipedia
at LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM
Giants 5, Dodgers 6
Tony Venzon, Jocko Conlan
Frank Secory, Hal Dixon
Walter Alston, Dodgers
Bill Rigney, Giants
Carl Erskine, Dodgers
Al Worthington, Giants
LA Mayor Norris Poulson
Jim Davenport (single)
Jim Davenport (single)
Willie Mays (05/12/1958)
Don Demeter (04/21/1959)
Daryl Spencer (04/20/1958)
Johnny Podres (06/04/1958)
Hit by Pitch
Ruben Gomez hit Dick Gray
Don Drysdale (05/05/1958)
research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet.
Other sporting events held at the Coliseum over the years have included
Major League Baseball, which was held at the Coliseum when the former
Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League relocated to Los Angeles in 1958.
The Dodgers played here until Dodger Stadium was completed in time for the
1962 season, despite the fact that the Coliseum's one-tier, oval bowl
shape was extremely poorly-suited to baseball.
Although ill-suited as a major league baseball field, with its left
field line at 251 feet (77 m) and power alley at 320 feet (98 m), it was
ideally suited for large paying crowds. Each of the three games of the
1959 World Series drew over 92,000 fans, a record unlikely to be
challenged anytime soon, given the smaller seating capacities of today's
baseball parks. A May 1959 exhibition game between the Dodgers and the New
York Yankees in honor of legendary catcher Roy Campanella drew 93,103, the
largest crowd ever to see a baseball game in the Western Hemisphere. The
Coliseum also hosted the second 1959 MLB All-Star Game.
The Coliseum was also the site of John F. Kennedy's memorable
acceptance speech at the 1960 Democratic Convention. It was during that
speech that Kennedy first used the term "the New Frontier."
When the Coliseum opened in 1922, it was already the largest stadium in
Los Angeles with a capacity of 76,000. However, 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 many years the Coliseum was capable of seating over 100,000
spectators, and the capacity for the 1984 Olympics configuration was
approximately 88,000. Subsequently, many seats - and the running track -
were removed to appease Raiders owner Al Davis, partially in order to make
the venue more easily sold out so that his team's game could appear live
on L.A. television, which is forbidden by NFL rules unless a game is
already sold out at least 72 hours prior to its scheduled kick-off. Some
of the removed seats, which were primarily in the end zone, were replaced
with new bleachers far closer to the end lines of the playing field. (The
combination of the stadium's large, relatively shallow design, along with
the presence of the track between the playing field and the stands, meant
that some of the former end zone seats were essentially away from the
field by the equivalent in length of another football field.)
However, with Davis' Raiders now long gone, and the need for repairs
after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, some of the changes that he had
demanded were reversed, and the current configuration is somewhat similar
to that used for the 1984 Olympics. USC's regular alternating home games
with rivals UCLA and Notre Dame attract a capacity 92,000 person crowd
each year. The current official capacity of the Coliseum is 92,516.
There is great debate about the Coliseum's potential as a modern NFL
stadium. Although the Coliseum is an important historical sports venue, it
is regarded by some as no longer adequate to be the home of a major
professional sports organization. Since it was designed before the age of
club seats, luxury boxes, and many of the other money-generating amenities
that modern football stadiums possess, any professional team moving to the
Coliseum will likely have to do extensive renovations. Los Angeles county
voters are generally uninterested in appropriating tax revenues toward a
new stadium, which would put the costs of renovation on any future tenant.
Another factor is its location at the edge of South Los Angeles, which is
perceived by many potential fans as a somewhat unsafe part of the city,
although the area is considerably safer than it was when the stadium
housed two NFL teams. Partially because of the difficulties that the NFL
has had with trying to finance a renovated Coliseum, Rose Bowl or brand
new stadium, it has been absent from the 2nd largest media market in
America for over a remarkable ten years.
On November 10, 2005 NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced that the
NFL and city officials have reached a preliminary agreement on bringing an
NFL team back to the Coliseum. However, when and who the next NFL team
that will play there has not been announced (best guesses include the San
Diego Chargers and the New Orleans/New Jersey/San Antonio/Baton Rouge
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The Coliseum sustained extensive damage during the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
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