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Proposal Is the Right Call for Future of Coliseum as a Major Sports Venue

June 27, 1996

Re "Could a Face Lift Make the Coliseum a Contender?" (June 10): I do not consider use by the National Football League to be a life-or-death matter for the Coliseum. I encouraged further attention to soccer and to USC football and to special events and to NFL football. If only the NFL could understand that the Raiders would have been hugely successful in the Coliseum if they had won football games as consistently and with the same excitement as had been their tradition in Oakland.

I have had the opportunity to review early versions of the William McGregor / Barton Myers proposal. I made suggestions for better accommodation of the important historic elements of the Coliseum in their new design.

They find themselves attempting to satisfy two masters. First, just to get a hearing for the Coliseum they must exceed the NFL's extreme expectations for stadiums that justify high ticket prices, prices that cater to the wealthy and to tourists while driving away families and the general population. On the other hand, McGregor and Myers are attempting to be sensitive to a national historic monument whose history and character are intrinsically linked with Los Angeles and could itself be a drawing card for game attendance.

Meanwhile, if the NFL hasn't figured out how to find local character and make the most of it, perhaps soccer will. It is clearly the game of our future.

ROBERT S. HARRIS

Professor, School of Architecture

& Urban Design, USC

*

Finally, a sensible solution to the new stadium dilemma. The answer is rebuilding the Coliseum, as described in your article.

The Coliseum is a Los Angeles landmark, probably the most familiar and most famous stadium in the nation. To abandon it would be criminal. The NFL honchos insult the citizens of this city when they say they refuse to play there.

The design by architect Barton Myers and developer William McGregor should not make the Coliseum just a contender, it should make it the front-runner in the contest for a new facility.

FRANK J. STEVENS

North Hollywood

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