By Emily Greenstein
The second stop on our last day in LA was to the University of Southern California. We started by going to the LA Coliseum. This was such a cool place to visit because of all the history in this arena. This is the place that the first ever, super bowl was played, Olympics were held here, both the Rams and Raiders used it as their home at some point, and of course now is the home of the USC Trojans football team. Seeing something like this coliseum to play football in was so amazing compared to the Carrier Dome. The atmosphere at these games must be so much crazier than anything I have ever experienced at a Syracuse football game. We then got to see the locker rooms and walk on the field.
Next we went to USC’s campus to see the athletic facilities for the athletes. USC just completed renovations on all of their 3 athletic buildings and they are unbelievable. The first building, Heritage Hall, is home to many trophies and awards won by the USC football team throughout its history. This building took about 33 million dollars to renovate and build. The next facility we saw was the McKay athletic complex. This building is below Heritage hall and blew me away. This building is used as a training center, rehab facility, and academic hall for all USC athletes. There are 21 athletic teams at USC and all of the athletes from any of these teams can use the facility whenever they please. This facility was opened in August of 2013 and cost 67 million dollars to complete; I have never seen anything like it. Let’s just saw it puts the Carmelo center for our athletes to shame. In the basement of the building is an entire academic wing for athletes to come and study, because an education is just as important to USC as being an athlete. The third building in this renovation is the aquatic center, we unfortunately did not have time to go inside this building but it cost about 16 million dollars to build and is used for the swimmers and water polo athletes.
The USC campus is beautiful and this being my first time to LA, the weather was certainly a nice change from Syracuse. After seeing all of these facilities and how nice the weather is here, I think I should have chosen a warmer climate to go to school in. Not seriously, but I do wish it would be just a little bit warmer up in Cuse. Today was a great day and USC was definitely a highlight of the trip for me.
By David Lauterbach
Growing up in Los Angeles, I have watched, listened, talked, etc. about the Dodgers my entire life. Having the chance to visit Dodger Stadium and meet with executives made this trip end on a perfect note for me. We spoke with five executives at the stadium: two in ticket sales, one in sponsorship, one in broadcasting/marketing, and one in stadium operations. All five of them gave me insight into not only the Dodgers’ organization, but also into what it takes to work in baseball.
A couple of the men we spoke with talked about how their job doesn’t really stop and end with the regular season. More specifically, the stadium operations department is sometimes busier in the offseason than it is during the regular season. This is because the Dodgers have to touch up and improve stadium nearly every offseason. At the same time, the stadium is rented out for concerts, company, and charity events. This causes the stadium operations department to constantly work during the offseason to keep the stadium up-to-date and its visitors happy.
One thing that stuck out to me during the ticket sales presentations was the difficulty baseball clubs deal with when it comes to its 162 game seasons. Baseball has far more home games than football, 8, and basketball, 41. With 81 home games during the regular season, the Dodgers have to work with the sponsorship department to ensure that fans are always coming to the game whether its on a Tuesday or Saturday night. By working together, the sponsorship department might have a company sponsor a promotion on a Tuesday night that increases the attendance from 30,000 to 40,000. Another interesting point that was brought up was the fact that the Dodgers led the MLB in both road and home attendance in 2013. This simple fact helped the sponsorship department sell sponsorships for home games because companies knew their product would be seen by thousands of fans. On the flip side, it made it easier for the ticket sales department to sell tickets because of the team’s success.
At the end of the meeting, we took a behind the scenes tour of Dodger Stadium. One thing that has always stuck out to me about it while growing in Los Angeles is that it truly is a classic stadium. There aren’t very many activities to do that would prevent fans from sitting in their seats and watching the game. While that is a negative to some people, it was a positive for me. Dodger Stadium is the third oldest stadium in the MLB (oldest is Fenway Park and second-oldest is Wrigley Field) and the fact that the Dodgers try to conserve that history and protect that means a lot to me as a sports fan. The team isn’t trying to be flashy; instead it’s trying to maintain the integrity of America’s pastime.