California State Government May Delay Handover Of L.A. Coliseum Lease To USC
The state of California yesterday "appeared to be ready to put the brakes on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission's proposed lease deal with USC," according to Rong-Gong Lin II of the L.A. TIMES. California Secretary of State & Consumer Services Anna Caballero said that state officials "want to be satisfied that the deal is the best one possible for the taxpayers who own the venue." She said that the state was "disinclined to rush an agreement to meet the Coliseum's requested deadline for action by the end of June." Caballero: "The state won't be rubber-stamping … what the commission has negotiated or agreed to. We've identified some concerns." The Coliseum Commission yesterday "released financial statements showing losses" of $2.4M in fiscal '09-10 and $4.8M the following year. The proposed lease would "surrender day-to-day control of the property to USC." The school has promised to invest $70M to "renovate the dilapidated stadium in return for the right to run it for 99 years and control its revenue." Outside experts have called the deal "extraordinary, saying USC would reap most of the benefit." Caballero said that the state has "hired an Oakland law firm, Goldfarb & Lipman, which represented Los Angeles in the Staples Center deal and the city of Santa Clara in its recent deal to build an NFL stadium, to help evaluate the Coliseum proposals." She is also "reviewing an assessment of the lots' value." Caballero: "We're going to take the time we need to make sure we've got everything right. This is an incredibly important public facility" (L.A. TIMES, 5/3).