USC is seeking a two-year agreement with the Rose Bowl Operating Company, which will examine the issue at its next Board of Directors meeting December 6.
"Although we have been a faithful tenant of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for 80 years, we must now seek other alternatives for the good of our football program and our fans," said Todd R. Dickey, USC senior vice president for administration. "The Coliseum has not benefited from substantive physical upgrades or preventative maintenance for more than ten years because the Commission has focused on attracting an NFL team that would renovate the stadium."
USC has played at the Coliseum since 1923 and had pledged a minimum of $100 million over the next 10 years to fund needed repairs and restoration. A move also means the Trojans would have to share the Rose Bowl with rival UCLA, which already plays its home games in
"Playing in a renovated Coliseum would be our first choice," Dickey said, noting that the team will continue to seek a long-term lease agreement with the Coliseum Commission. "However, the Commission's rejection of our offer to provide for improvements such as bathroom and concession upgrades, new seats, new gates, new lights, and a new sound and video system, has led to this step."
"We want our football program to stay at the Coliseum," added Mike Garrett, the school's director of athletics, "But, as we all know, the Coliseum needs significant upgrades to provide fans with the Trojan game experience they deserve. We'll keep working to stay in the Coliseum, but until we have full support from the Coliseum Commission, we're forced to pursue the option of playing in the Rose Bowl."
The Bruins also made their statements in regards to the news. "First, there is no agreement in place," UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said. "At the request of USC, UCLA permitted USC to have preliminary discussions with the Rose Bowl regarding the possibility of temporary usage while it continues to negotiate with the Coliseum Commission. This is where the matter presently stands.
"Any possible agreement would be for one year and subject to approval by UCLA. No long-term arrangement between USC and the Rose Bowl would even be considered by UCLA. Our position as the primary tenant is protected by our long-term lease, which runs through 2023."