Iconic Grounds: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Celebrating its centennial next year, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is a treasured L.A. landmark with a rich history of hosting legendary events. To uncover what keeps this legacy field in top condition, we spoke with Scott Lupold, who has been the Director of Sports Turf and Grounds for the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for the past 5 years.

A Large Event Roster

Known as “The Greatest Stadium in the World,” the L.A. Memorial Coliseum has been called home by dozens of professional and collegiate sports teams including the USC Trojans, Giltinis rugby team, Los Angeles Rams, and more. It’s also played host to two Summer Olympics, three NFL Championships, two Super Bowls, NASCAR, and countless other sports, music, entertainment, and historical events.

Quick Turf Turnarounds

As a revenue-generating venue, the Coliseum’s packed schedule of events does offer up some unique field management challenges for Lupold’s team. “We all get into this industry to create the best athletic surface we possibly can,” states Lupold. “And sometimes the windows to restore the field into a high caliber playing surface can be very tight.” With a crew of three full-time groundskeepers, a fleet of Toro® equipment and anywhere between 10 to 15 part-time staff, a lot gets done in a very short period of time.

Additionally, the natural grass field often undergoes its fair share of stress from large scale events. As a result, it’s not uncommon for the grounds crew to perform a full field turf replacement once or more per year, sometimes in as little as a five day window before returning to play. Fortunately, Lupold has a great working relationship with area sod farms to quickly bring the field back to prime, playable condition.

Meeting Different Sports Demands

At the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, there are a lot of logistics that go into preparing the field for various sports teams. There is a constant rotation of events to prepare for at the Coliseum. Whether it’s a rugby game, USC football practice, lacrosse, or soccer game, Lupold and his groundskeeping team need to conduct a full field flip — repainting lines, moving goalposts, etc. — to make sure each team is playing on the safest and most ideal field conditions. When other sports events outside of football, rugby, lacrosse, or soccer are slated to be held at the Coliseum, the field is then completely transformed to accommodate those athletes and events.

Recently, the Coliseum hosted NASCAR in the offseason, which required a full overhaul from turf to track and back again. Over 4 feet of plywood, dirt and asphalt covered the field to make this a reality. This type of transformative magic is something that will soon be witnessed again in the preparation for the 2028 Summer Olympics.

NASCAR race held at the LA Coliseum

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