One of my pet hates with modern stadiums is that they dont have what I would call, a proper name, especially in the US, where seemingly nearly every team now plays in a stadium with no local name, just the name of whoever may be sponsoring it at the time. Thankfully, Dodgers Stadium, Wrigley Field, and Fenway Park (to name a few) survive at present by their original name, but for how long?
Thankfully, there are some places that regardless of how many times the name changes, most people still know them by their old name. In truth, I suspect the tale of tonight’s rant will be one of those, despite the ghastly name change.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum started to be built in 1921, opening in 1923. In its time, as well as hosting numerous teams from the Los Angeles area (including for a few years, the Dodgers, more on that later), but also hosted 2 Olympics, and may well play a part in hosting another in 2028, when the event returns to town. I wont be there to see it, even if I’m still alive by then!
But now, or more strictly correctly, in August 2019, the name will change, it will be ‘The United Airlines Memorial Coliseum’. Yes, I know, money talks, and all that! In truth, beyond the whole matter of the name change, its who the sponsors are! Yes, United Airlines.
Thats right, the company who in the last few years have had a total customer services meltdown are putting $69 million towards repairs to the stadium, presumably in a desperate attempt to improve their standing in the community? And yes, they are still as bad as ever, only last week throwing a woman off a plane, due to a ticketing error, on the way to see her dying mother for the last time. No, thanks to their incompetence, she never made it! Of course, it wasnt their fault according to them, but seriously, given those circumstances, and the fact the ticket had been paid for, what a shambles!
The amusing thing of course, is the LA reaction to this. Most of that has involved comments about buying tickets for the stadium, then having someone coming up, throwing you out of your seat, and beating you up for good measure! That attitude might improve towards them over the next 18 months, but I wouldnt put good money on it! That is of course, given the amount of bad publicity they’ve had of late, that United Airlines are still around by then! Wouldnt that be ironic?
With luck, everyone will continue to call it The Coliseum, and nothing more for the rest of time!
What I didnt know, until I did a search, was that the Dodgers actually played 1 game there after their move to Dodgers Stadium. To celebrate 50 years in town, in 2008, they played a pre season game at their old home, against Boston Red Sox. No, the stadium was no longer designed for that, but anyway…
I found this. Yes, the Boston Red Sox song, sung in Coliseum. Official attendance was over 115,000, but certainly not that many there in this shot!