NOTE: SoFi Stadium, the Rams’ new home in LA, wasn’t open to the general public for the 2020 season. Once it opens to full capacity, I intend to make a visit and offer a review. Until then, to ensure all teams have representation, I still include this review of the LA Memorial Coliseum. Hopefully, COVID goes away and I’ll be able to update this soon.
LOS ANGELES MEMORIAL COLISEUM
STADIUM DUDE’S NFL STADIUM RANK: #25
- Location: Los Angeles, CA
- Opened: 1923; Last renovated 2016
- Retired for NFL Football: 2019
- Capacity: 77,500
- Football Weather Misery Index: 17.1 (2nd best of 23 outdoor venues)
- Games attended: 1
- Last visited: 2019
I came not expecting much. But there was a surprising sense of “cool” to the renovated Coliseum. I’m glad I made it here before So-Fi Stadium opens up.
This is the only stadium to host two Olympics. It was home to the first Super Bowl, a World Series and a papal mass. It finally underwent a fairly extensive renovation which included all new seats, more aisles, 650 video screens, more suites and reduced seating capacity. And they restored the peristyle, giving it a renewed sense of grandeur. While I can’t compare it to the old, the results felt solid.
You needed to walk through a low-ceiling vomitorium to reach the seating bowl, but you then felt a burst of energy seeing field for the first time. Many concessions were handled in food tents to help disperse crowds from the cramped concourses. And the beautiful weather that I enjoyed for my game is common.
The Rams crowd inside was more stereotypical SoCal chill with a little Hispanic flair. The stadium borders some gritty, working-class neighborhoods, but I never felt unsafe given Game Day crowds. Traffic in and out could be harsh, and parking was stupid expensive (like $100) if you sought something close to the field. I took the Metro (with a discretely concealed six pack for tailgating) and found it pleasantly easy.
The impressive renovations should help keep this classic stadium in fine operation even once the Rams leave and cede it entirely to the USC Trojans. You won’t be able to see a pro game here anymore, but make it a college stadium bucket lister.