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Orange County Register (California)
LOS ANGELES — USC's football team and the Rams will continue to play their home games at the Coliseum this fall, though the stadium remains under construction until the 2019 season.
The school's $300 million renovation of the historic stadium began in January and is more than halfway toward its scheduled completion, officials said Wednesday.
Lynn Swann, the Trojans' third-year athletic director, acknowledged potential challenges for fans who attend games in 2018 due to the ongoing construction.
"Growing paints, if you will," Swann said, "but I think we'll get through it."
The renovation began with the removal of about 12,000 midfield seats on the south side, most of them to make room for the building of a so-called scholarship tower filled with luxury boxes, club seats and a press box. A pair of yellow cranes currently hang over the construction zone. The tower will continue to be constructed through the rest of the year, above new seats that were added in the first 40 rows along the south sideline.
The Rams play the first game at the stadium Saturday when they host the Oakland Raiders in their second NFL preseason game.
USC opens its season on Sept. 1 against UNLV.
"The biggest change for fans is they gotta get ready for a brand-new Coliseum," said Kevin Daly, the director of events and customer service at the Coliseum. "It's gonna be awesome. They're going to come in, see those new seats and picture it around the entire bowl and realize it's not the venue your grandfather came to. We've elevated the experience and we're getting ready for a whole new era here."
Here's a look at the most significant changes at the Coliseum for the 2018 season.
LESS PARKING>> Parking lots in Exposition Park surrounding the Coliseum will be reserved for permit holders in 2018. Public parking is not available.
It is due to the ongoing construction of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, to the west of the stadium, which has eliminated more than 1,000 parking spaces. About 1,500 parking spaces are ultimately expected to be added for 2019. With the museum construction, 39th Street between Vermont Avenue and Bill Robertson Lane, previously an entrance into Exposition Park, will be closed.
Officials said they encourage fans to use public transportation and carpool if possible.
STADIUM ENTRANCE>> The concourse level will be closed between Tunnels 5 and 9, situated below the under-construction scholarship tower on the south side, restricting fans from walking around the stadium.
Officials said fans should enter the stadium through the suggested entry gate that is printed on each ticket to more easily access their seats and arrive early.
NEW VIEWING TERRACES>> A pair of viewing terraces were added in the northeast and southwest corners of the stadium.
The northeast terrace includes standing room for students and the southeast terrace for Trojan Athletic Fund members.
ADJUSTED CAPACITY>> The official capacity of the Coliseum will be 78,467 during the renovation, a drop from about 92,500 last season.
When the renovation is completed in 2019, capacity will be at about 77,500.
TICKET USE>> The Rams will require fans to use mobile or physical tickets due to a new NFL policy prohibiting print-at-home PDF tickets.
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