SBD/January 10, 2013/Facilities

Lawmakers Urge Officials To Scrap USC's Deal To Run L.A. Coliseum

USC as part of the agreement demanded control of the stadium's parking lots
All nine members of the California Legislature's black caucus are “urging state officials to scrap parts of a deal that would allow USC to run the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum,” according to Rong-Gong Lin II of the L.A. TIMES. The lawmakers, who said that they “support the idea of USC managing the Coliseum, where the school's football team plays, object to the inclusion of nearby parking lots they say should be turned into parks.” USC “demanded the parking lots as part of the management agreement.” Newly elected Assembly member Reggie Jones-Sawyer said that surrendering the parking lots “would break a two-decade-old promise made by the state to eventually convert unused lots surrounding the Coliseum complex into green space, for a neighborhood that sorely lacks parks.” The group also “opposes an element of the deal that would allow USC to also control the aging Sports Arena, part of the Coliseum property that could be razed for a potentially lucrative soccer stadium.” The deal “envisions the university taking over the sports venues for up to 99 years.” The caucus “rejected an assertion written into the deal that if the Coliseum Commission, which currently governs the stadium complex, goes out of business, the state will be on the hook for $70 million in upgrades.” Lin writes delaying an accord on the parking lots “would put the Coliseum in a precarious spot.” Stadium officials yesterday said that they “expect the venue to run out of money to make payroll by the end of March.” State Sen. and caucus Vice Chair Rod Wright said that the Coliseum “could be forced to lay off employees or shut its doors.” Meanwhile, the Coliseum Commissioner yesterday announced that Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has “left his position.” Yaroslavsky had served on the commission “since 1995 and was one of its most influential panelists” (L.A. TIMES, 1/10).
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