Coliseum Was Prepared To Make Major Change To Accommodate NFL
The announcement by Chargers owner Dean Spanos that he will keep his team in San Diego for the 2016 season while he seeks a new stadium deal has an interesting affect on football in Los Angeles.
And not just the NFL, but one college team, as well: USC.
Artificial Turf Plan Now On Hold
Without the Chargers, the Trojans will still be playing on natural grass on their home field, the LA Coliseum. Had the Chargers joined the Rams in Los Angeles, both would have been playing at the Coliseum for the 2017-18 seasons – the Rams are there this year, as well – while the new NFL stadium is being built in Inglewood.
And with three teams sharing the Coliseum, there’s no way natural grass would hold up to that kind of use, so an agreement had been worked out with USC to put in artificial turf for two years.
USC, which runs the Coliseum under a recent lease, really doesn’t care what the NFL wants for the stadium but could not turn down the money the team(s) offered to play there, so the school was willing to make certain concessions to them, the biggest of which was artificial turf.
But then Spanos got that #FridayFeeling to stay put, as he stated in a letter to Charger fans on Friday, Jan. 30.
“Today I decided our team will stay in San Diego for the 2016 season and I hope for the long term in a new stadium,” he wrote. “I have met with Mayor Faulconer and Supervisor Roberts and I look forward to working closely with them and the business community to resolve our stadium dilemma.
“We have an option and an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams to go to Inglewood in the next year, but my focus is on San Diego.
“This has been our home for 55 years, and I want to keep the team here and provide the world-class stadium experience you deserve.”
USC thinks Trojan fans deserve a world-class stadium experience, too, and will use the NFL money to make badly needed upgrades to the Coliseum.
And if it has to put in artificial turf in case Spanos changes his mind, or the voters don’t approve a new Chargers stadium, then the USC attitude is to Fight On with that plan.