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Following Criticism, USC And United Airlines Reach Naming Rights Deal For LA Memorial Coliseum Field

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The University of Southern California and United Airlines have reached a deal to rename the field at L.A. Memorial Coliseum following criticism from veteran's groups over their previous name change agreement reached last year.

The 10-year deal announced Friday will rename the field at the nearly century-old stadium "United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum," USC announced in a news release.

Memorial Coliseum
A general view as the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys take the field before the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 12, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The new name takes effect in August.

Memorial Coliseum was built in 1923 and commissioned as a memorial to veterans who fought and died in World War I. USC has controlled it since 2013.

In January of 2018, USC and United Airlines reached a reported $69 million deal to rename Memorial Coliseum as "United Airlines Memorial Coliseum" beginning in August of 2019.

However, the new name received significant criticism from L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn and veteran's groups, who argued that it dishonors the memory of those WWI veterans.

"I think there are certain things that we shouldn't sell," Hahn said back in March. "The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was built in an effort to honor those men who were from Los Angeles that marched off in World War I and never came back.

In response to the criticism, USC said it was open to rethinking and modifying the name change.

"The naming of the field is a significant step in USC's efforts to usher in a modern era for this historic landmark and preserve its legacy," USC interim President Wanda M. Austin said in a statement Friday. "Through this process, USC was guided by doing the right thing for the community as we continue to honor our veterans. We look forward to the opening of United Airlines Field within the newly renovated Coliseum this summer."

The stadium is in the midst of a $270 million renovation expected to be complete by the fall.


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