SBD/August 31, 2011/Facilities

Trojan War: USC Expected To Gain Control Of L.A. Memorial Coliseum

Coliseum Commission unable to make $50M in improvements to USC's stadium

The Univ. of Southern California by the end of this year may be "getting control of the football team's 88-year-old home," the L.A. Memorial Coliseum, according to Arash Markazi of the ESPN L.A. USC and the Coliseum Commission are "expected to begin formal negotiations on a master lease for the Coliseum after the commission's Sept. 7 meeting." An agreement is "expected to be reached within 90 days and would give the university the exclusive right to use, manage and operate the stadium." A special four-member committee "to determine the future of the Coliseum has already been assembled and convened and will meet with the rest of the Coliseum Commission at their Sept. 7 meeting to determine how they will proceed with USC's request for the master lease." The vote "wouldn't automatically grant USC a master lease; it would simply allow the commission to move forward with formal negotiations with the university." Both sides "have yet to talk about the legal and financial details of a deal, but after preliminary talks it seems the commission and the school will be able to come to an agreement before the commission's Dec. 7 meeting." Markazi noted USC "has wanted to gain control of the Coliseum for years and is finally poised to do so after commission members acknowledged earlier this year they would be unable to keep their promise to USC to make $50 million in improvements to the aging facility." USC this week announced plans to raise $6B, and a "portion of that figure would go toward capital projects and infrastructure." The Coliseum "has recently been brought up as a potential temporary home of an NFL team if one decides to relocate" to AEG's Farmers Field, and USC officials said that they "would be open to the possibility of an NFL team playing at the Coliseum on a temporary basis, with the revenue generated from those games being used to further improve the stadium" (ESPNLA.com, 8/30).

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