One of the most impressive development stories in recent memory is the 800,000 square foot historic renovation (with the addition of a new 231,340 square foot tower) at the LA Memorial Coliseum, a city landmark and current home of the University of Southern California Trojan Football Team.  

The work was performed by Hathaway Dinwiddie / AECOM Hunt, as a joint venture. The renovation included a new south tower consisting of premium suites, clubs, concessions, and a press box along with overall infrastructure upgrades. Updates focused on improving the fan experience, such as providing all new seats with increased legroom; upgraded concourses; state-of-the-art audio, video, wi-fi, and DAS; and replacement of MEP systems to meet current standards.

The project required complex phasing where the project team worked through major events and seasons, utilizing small windows of opportunity to accomplish larger portions of the work during off-seasons.

A key challenge for the project team was that the venue was open during the 2018/2019 football season, meaning a “game day, make-ready” protocol was put in place to ensure the stadium was safe for players and fans.  A temporary press box was built during this time to allow for event broadcasting and to create booths for coaches/ownership viewing.  A great deal of coordination and careful planning was required for this temporary facility to function as required.

During the “off-season,” the playing field was used for material staging and for placement of the new lower bowl cast-in-place stadia concrete.  The construction team worked closely with the facilities management team to ensure that adequate protective measures were put in place as required to preserve the playing field drainage and irrigation system.  Construction was sequenced such that all activities that required access to the playing field occurred between football seasons.    

What did the game day, make ready protocol include? 
48 hours prior to game day (keeping in mind both Rams and USC played at the Coliseum during this time) the main delivery receiving area had to be sectioned off, because that area is where the broadcast TV trucks would setup for the games.  This required careful planning of deliveries to ensure the required materials were procured before losing access to the main delivery point of entry.  
The construction zone footprint had to be reduced before each game by relocating temporary fencing, tools, and materials to create adequate pedestrian circulation.

Broadcast cameras/equipment had to be loaded into and setup in the temporary press boxes.  Each of the different broadcasters have different needs as it relates to cabling, equipment, and infrastructure.
Other aspects of the “game day, make-ready” protocol included ensuring temporary restroom facilities were clean and functional, and making sure that game day wayfinding signage was in place (different signage was needed for Rams and USC games).

How did this affect the schedule?
The game day protocol had to start 48 hours prior to each event, so the protocol was not just an “end of day Friday” operation.  Careful planning had to take place each week to ensure we reached a reasonable stopping point prior to events.  For example, we could not begin a task within the game-day pedestrian walk path on a Monday that would leave an unsafe or aesthetically displeasing condition leading up to an event that upcoming weekend.

What challenges did this create?
Sequencing of trades is always a challenge that requires close attention to detail and communication with our trade partners.  Having to accommodate events every week added another layer of complexity to his process.  It was especially challenging to work around the handful of games that occurred during the work week.  One especially challenging situation occurred on 11/19/18 when the Chiefs vs. Rams Monday Night Football Game originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City was moved to the Coliseum on very short notice due to poor field conditions at the venue in Mexico City.  A great deal of effort was put forth by the project team to make the venue “game ready” for this Monday Night Football game.

Another significant challenge that the project team had to overcome was the discovery of large unforeseen foundations and duct bank systems at the bottom of the building excavation.  These existing elements had to be removed in order to complete the building excavation, and challenged the project team to maintain the already aggressive project schedule.

Any unique aspects of this project? 
The main Founders Lobby is a very impressive space.  Polished terrazzo flooring, radius staircases, large stone wall panels, massive Olympic ring light fixtures, and creative graphics/branding.  

Information for this article was provided by Hathaway Dinwiddie / AECOM Hunt, a Joint Venture. For more information, visit or

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