Coliseum officials looking for ways to host high school sporting events

A view of the Los Angeles Coliseum without fans.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum would like to play host to some high school events.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Joe Furin, the general manager of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, has been directed to find a way to return high school sporting events to the historic 98-year-old venue now run by USC.

On Thursday, there will be what is being called a “pilot program” with a high school football doubleheader at the Coliseum. Manual Arts will play Jefferson at 3 p.m. followed by Pasadena Poly and La Cañada. All four schools are contributing financially to make the games possible.

And that has been the big recent roadblock. The City Section used to play its championship football games in the Coliseum, the last held in 2014 when Narbonne defeated Carson. After that, the City Section switched to holding finals at junior colleges or high school venues because it supposedly cost too much to rent the facility.


Now Coliseum officials are looking for ways to help host high school events and allow athletes to experience a once-in-a-lifetime experience of getting to run out from the Coliseum tunnel and play on the stadium’s pristine grass field, as so many great athletes from the past have done.

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Furin said there’s a long legacy of the Coliseum hosting high school competitions from football to track, and he has been encouraged to find solutions.

“Dynamics have changed,” he said. “High schools have limited budgets. The Coliseum isn’t an easy place to open up and host an event. The overall desire from the Los Angeles Coliseum president is, ‘How can we get high school football back?’ This is a pilot program to figure out annually a way.”