The football field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will be named after its corporate sponsor, the University of Southern California and United Airlines announced Friday as part of a new 10-year agreement following the collapse of a previous naming-rights deal that some felt disrespected veterans.
The USC Trojans will now square off against their collegiate rivals on the "United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum."
The pact after comes after a 2018 agreement where United would have paid USC -- which uses the nearly 100-year-old stadium for football games -- $69 million over 16 years to rename the facility "United Airlines Memorial Coliseum."
The deal raised objections from Janice Hahn, a Los Angeles County Supervisor and president of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission. Hahn argued renaming the Coliseum would be disrespectful to the building's history as a war memorial.
“Unlike other modern sports venues, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is not just a stadium — it is a war memorial,” she wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. “Removing ‘Los Angeles’ and replacing it with a corporate sponsor insults the memories of those the Coliseum was intended to honor.”
USC proposed walking away from the naming-rights deal, but United balked at the offer. The new pact will fund the school's $315 million renovation project for Coliseum upgrades and amenities. The project was originally estimated to cost $270 million.
“USC is honored to be the caretaker of this Los Angeles treasure and, together with United, we are ensuring the Coliseum’s future as a world-class venue,” USC interim President Wanda M. Austin said in a statement. “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. Through this process, USC was guided by doing the right thing for the community as we continue to honor our veterans."
USC and United said they would work to honor local veterans, as well as erect a veterans memorial at the Coliseum.
Hahn said she was pleased with the deal's restructuring.
“I am pleased that USC and United have come together in a way that will honor the memories of veterans who served in World War I and our broader community of veterans,” she said.