USC and United Airlines reach agreement to name Coliseum field

first_imgUSC and United Airlines have agreed to a new naming rights deal for the Coliseum, after facing some backlash regarding the original name change. USC and United had initially struck an agreement in May 2017 to rename the stadium United Airlines Memorial Coliseum. The 16-year deal provided USC over $69 million to use toward the Coliseum’s renovation, part of a $315 million undertaking.  Although United officials initially said that the company would be willing to step away from the agreement if USC did not agree to the original name change, the company said it has much to gain from taking on such a prominent role in the Los Angeles community. “USC is honored to be the caretaker of this Los Angeles treasure and, together with United, we are ensuring the Coliseum’s future as a world-class venue,” Austin said in a statement. “The naming of the field is a significant step in USC’s efforts to usher in a modern era for this historic landmark and preserve its legacy.”  Shortly after the original naming rights deal was agreed upon, veterans groups protested that changing the name of the stadium would dilute its identity as a memorial to World War I veterans. Neither USC nor United have released the financial details of the new agreement, which was shortened to 10 years instead of the original 16. Under the revised deal, USC and United said they will support the stadium’s commitment to honor local veterans by supporting veterans who attend USC and erecting a new memorial at the Coliseum to honor veterans. Hahn also pointed out the numerous historical events that the Coliseum has hosted — including the 1932 and 1984 summer Olympics and a visit from Nelson Mandela — to emphasize the idea that the Coliseum serves just as much as a war memorial as it does a sports stadium. The two parties came to a 10-year deal that will result in a new name for just the field, instead of the entire stadium. The field will now be called the United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum starting August.center_img “I think there are certain things that we shouldn’t sell,” said Janice Hahn, president of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, who sided with the veterans back in March. “The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was built in an effort to honor those men who were from Los Angeles that marched off in World War I and never came back.” Interim president Wanda M. Austin agreed with Hahn’s perspective that the benefits of the deal extend far beyond the Coliseum’s renovation. Photo from USC News “With so many employees, many of whom are proud veterans themselves, and customers that travel to or call [Los Angeles] home, this sponsorship is a meaningful way to underscore our commitment to California,” said Janet Lamkin, president of California for United Airlines, in a statement. “We always want to do what is best for the communities in which we operate — and in this case, reaching an agreement which upholds the name of such a respected venue while modernizing it for the benefit of future generations was the right thing to do.” “I am pleased that USC and United have come together in a way that will honor the memories of veterans who served in World War I and our broader community of veterans,” Hahn said in a statement. “This agreement ensures that United Airlines remains an important corporate sponsor of the Coliseum renovation project and that the legacy of the Coliseum remains. I am proud that we are moving forward with a shared commitment to veterans.” The introduction of the field’s new name will coincide with USC’s first football game on Aug. 31 against Fresno State at the Coliseum.last_img read more

UWI to remove controversial Garvey bust

first_imgThe University of the West Indies will remove a bust of National Hero Marcus Garvey, one month after it was mounted at its Mona campus in Jamaica.Rastafarians and Garveyites marched near the campus Sunday, demanding the piece be removed. They said it bears little resemblance to the Pan African icon who died in London in 1940 at age 52.Professor Waibinte Wariboko, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, which commissioned the bust, said a new piece will be done and unveiled before the new academic year in August.Raymond Watson, who did the bronze resin, stone powder bust, said he is disappointed at the response. He admitted that he “took a few liberties to make Marcus appeal to a younger generation.”Watson was commissioned by the UWI to do the bust in late 2016. He wanted to project Garvey as a scholar based on a photo he saw of him in academic regalia on the Internet.But persons who attended the unveiling on May 18 were not impressed and openly criticized Watson’s work.Watson, who teaches drawing and sculpting at Edna Manley College of the Performing and Visual Arts in Kingston, said he did not intend to offend.“I respect Marcus greatly as a fantastic person. He was a thinker who spoke on multiple issues,” he said.Garvey was born in St. Ann parish in north-east Jamaica. He was a pillar of the Harlem Renaissance in the early 1900s and championed repatriation to Africa.He was imprisoned for mail fraud in 1923 and deported to Jamaica four years later. He was named Jamaica’s first National Hero in 1969.last_img read more