United Airlines offers to withdraw LA Memorial Coliseum sponsorship

Criticism of the sale of naming rights to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has led United Airlines offering to retract its $69m (€61m) offer for the facility, according to the the Associated Press.

The airline’s naming rights and investment deal for the stadium was announced earlier this year: it would be renamed the United Airlines Memorial Coliseum.

The stadium has carried its existing name since opening in 1923 in honour of troops who died in World War I.

Criticism has mounted in the last week from veterans and public officials.

United Airlines California president Janet Lamkin sent a letter to an official of University of Southern California, which operates the coliseum. “If USC is not in a position to honour the terms of the agreement, including in particular the name change, United would be amenable to abiding by the wishes of the community, stepping away from this partnership with USC, and mutually terminating the agreement,” Lamkin wrote.

USC has responded that the deal could still go ahead, “accepting the wishes of the veteran community to modify the proposed naming agreement to United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.”

United would have to agree to any further name change.