LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission Monday approved a lease agreement with USC giving the university control of day-to-day operations at the historic stadium and neighboring Sports Arena for as long as 42 years.

The board voted 8-1, with Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks casting the lone dissenting vote.

Negotiations between the commission and USC began in September and a term sheet for the deal was released in January.

Under the lease, the commission continues to oversee both buildings, but USC will control day-to-day operations, including scheduling of events and possible naming rights negotiations. The land on which the Coliseum and Sports Arena sit is leased from the state under a 100-year agreement that expires in 2054.

The lease with USC has an initial term of 20 years, with five renewal options that could extend it to 2054.

The lease includes a provision that allows the temporary use of the Coliseum by an NFL team if necessary.

The Coliseum — opened in May 1923 — and the Los Angeles Sports Arena are publicly owned and have been managed by the commission, which includes state, county and city appointees. Management of the Coliseum has been under fire in recent months, capped by the recent indictments of six former Coliseum managers or contractors.

That Coliseum is under scrutiny for the alleged mismanagement of millions of dollars that went missing, was paid out for events that never happened or went into the pockets of Coliseum managers or contractors, according to an audit by City Controller Wendy Greuel.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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