University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Stadium Business Plan and Management Review

In 2007 B&D was selected by the University of Southern California to complete a management review and business plan for the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, and consider its combined operation with the university’s Galen Center.  The university initiated this planning effort primarily to define an alternative to the current paradigm for USC football games, for which USC leased the coliseum as its home venue from the L.A. Memorial Coliseum Commission.  Our study established a set of recommendations for the governance and management of the coliseum by USC, established proposals for facility improvements and maintenance, and considered some manner of inclusion of the Galen Center in this management structure. We also concluded that the university, through tapping into potential new revenue streams, could fund major capital improvements to the coliseum and bring it to a level of quality consistent with USC constituents’ expectations.  Major revenue-generating elements, such as naming rights / sponsorship inventory and premium seating could support debt capacity far greater than the capital costs required to create them, and could support the funding of non-revenue-generating (albeit necessary) improvements in life safety, accessibility, deferred maintenance, and fan access and comfort. We did not recommend a policy of aggressive event capture, making it possible for either in-house staff or an outside private manager to operate the facility equally well as the primary home for USC football.  In either case, the management was structured such that the operator would report to a newly formed, USC-affiliated governing entity.