Spring 2021 Speaker Series: Analyzing Impacts of Major Events: A case study of the LA Coliseum

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Location: Online Webinar

Analyzing Impacts of Major Events:

A case study of the LA Coliseum


Thurs, February 18, 2021     Noon (Pacific)



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Major events are a significant source of traffic congestion, especially in large metropolitan areas. We conduct a case study of football games played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a venue located near downtown Los Angeles with a capacity of about 80,000. Two teams play home games at the Coliseum, the Los Angeles Rams and the University of Southern California Trojans. These events take place in an area that already has a high level of recurrent congestion. We analyze the impacts of game days by comparing game day traffic with traffic on control days on both the highway and arterial systems. Our data are speed records from in-road detectors. We estimate two sets of models to test relationships between game attributes and traffic performance. The first set are traditional regression models controlling for spatial and temporal correlation. The second set are Random Forest, a type of machine learning estimation. We find that Random Forest performs better, as it allows for complex nonlinearities in variables.  Our results show that Rams and USC impacts are different.  Rams fans arrive in a more concentrated time interval closer to start time of the games, and therefore have a greater impact on the major approach routes than USC fans. The greatest impacts on highways are around nearby freeway to freeway interchanges. Arterial traffic is more consistently affected with distance from the venue. The case study provides the basis for better management of major planned events.


Dr. Genevieve Giuliano is Professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, and Director of the METRANS joint USC and California State University Long Beach Transportation Center. Professor Giuliano's research focus areas include relationships between land use and transportation, transportation policy analysis, and information technology applications in transportation.  Her current research includes examination of e-commerce and travel behavior, markets for zero emission heavy duty trucks, and use, and development of applications for transportation system analysis using archived real-time data. She has published over 180 papers, and has presented her research at numerous conferences both within the US and abroad.  

Professor Giuliano is a past Chair of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board, and a National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences.  She is the recipient of several awards, most recently the Walter Isard award for distinguished scholarship contribution from the North American Regional Science Association.  She is a frequent participant in National Research Council policy studies.

For recent publications, see

Yougeng Lu is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Planning and Development at Sol Price School of Public Policy, USC. He is the research assistant of METRANS Transportation Center. Lu’s research interests include air pollution, environmental justice, land use planning, spatial analysis, transportation, and big data.


021821 Giuliano Lu V6.pdf