With the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum management facing scrutiny over a series of scandals, officials on Tuesday released a proposal to have USC operate the facility for 42 years.
The 92-page agreement drew some criticism from city officials, with Councilman Bernard Parks - a USC graduate and former Coliseum commissioner - questioning the deal.
"I don't see where this benefits the city, the county or the state," Parks said. "What you find is that any money from events goes back into the Coliseum, but any revenue from advertising or naming rights goes to USC."
The contract, negotiated over the past year, would be for a 20-year initial lease, with five renewal options that could extend the lease to 2054.
USC would control daily operations, including the scheduling of events and negotiations for naming rights. The lease contains provisions that would require USC to share the stadium with any professional football team that moves to the region as it waits for a stadium to be built.
Thomas Sayles, senior vice president for university relations, said USC hopes to restore the Coliseum to its "former glory and ensure its viability for many generations to come.
"Our goal is to make the Coliseum a proud landmark and gathering place for all Angelenos," Sayles said, adding that USC supports full public disclosure and debate over the issue.
Supervisor Don Knabe, who is vice chairman of the Coliseum Commission, said he is
Over the past year, the Coliseum has been struck with one scandal after another. Most recently, its former general manager, Pat Lynch, and five others were charged with corruption in the diversion of funds.
Lynch pleaded guilty in return for no jail time and an agreement to repay $360,000. The charges remain in effect against the other five.
USC has been trying to take control of the Coliseum for a number of years.
Under the terms of the agreement, USC will pay the Coliseum Commission $300,000 for improvements and an annual rent based on the events held.
USC also will provide 90 complimentary tickets to the commission for all events.
The 92-page proposed agreement is available at www.lacoliseumlive.com and printed copies can be obtained by calling 213-765-6387, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing the Office of the General Manager, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, 3911 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA, 90037.
The Coliseum Commission plans to hold a public hearing on the proposed lease on May 2. Residents can also submit comments by email to email@example.com or by mail to the address above.
City News Service contributed to this report.