USC To Take Over LA Coliseum? Commissioner Hints At ‘Criminal Conspiracy’
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The University of Southern California was one step closer on Thursday to taking control of the day-to-day management of the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The Coliseum Commission submitted a proposal Wednesday for the university to assume control of the scandal-plagued venue.
Under the panel’s “term sheet” of general parameters for USC to run the Coliseum for the next two decades, the university would lease the stadium as well as manage and operate it.
In return, USC would make repairs totaling over an estimated $1 million to the 89-year-old venue as well as host as many as 8 public events.
But some panel members remained staunchly opposed to the proposal.
“This is a giveaway,” said commission member and former police chief Bernard Parks. “When we were talking about building a football stadium here, this property was appraised at hundreds of millions of dollars.”
“Now all of a sudden it’s of zero value,” he added.
One panel member, David Israel, even hinted at an organized effort to derail the negotiations.
“Our alternative, given the criminal conspiracy that we believe to be true in this committee and the financial misappropriation of funds, is default,” said Israel.
The proposal comes as Coliseum officials face increased scrutiny over questionable spending practices including one official using a personal credit card to charge up $270,000 in expenditures to rack up bonus points on his card.
General manager Patrick Lynch abruptly resigned in February of last year after a 15-year-old girl died of an Ecstasy overdose at the Electric Daisy Carnival, an electronic music festival held at the Coliseum the previous summer.
Officials at USC said they would like to begin improvements as early as this fall for upcoming football games.