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Olympic Auditorium Lease Expires Sept. 30; A Renewal Is in Doubt

September 22, 1987|RICHARD HOFFER

The Olympic Auditorium, home to local boxing since 1925, will go into an immediate hiatus and possibly out of business.

Lester Kirschner, who holds the master lease at the Olympic and who sublets to boxing, wrestling and music promoters, confirmed Monday that he was unable to renegotiate a new lease with building owner Jack Needleman. The lease will expire Sept. 30.

Needleman did not return phone calls, but the speculation is that the Olympic is about to become another of Needleman's parking lots.

The property, at 18th and Grand, has long been considered more valuable as real estate than as a boxing emporium, the largest such building ever built expressly for the sport. Such speculation, however, has existed ever since the Los Angeles Athletic Club sold the structure in 1980 for $3 million.

Faced with dramatically increased rents after the sale, promoters have come and gone, flourished and foundered, and the reputation for boxing every Thursday suffered. Still, there has always been boxing.

Lately, boxing cards have been presented sporadically by Rogelio Robles, who has featured Mexican-American boxers almost exclusively. Robles, whose last promotion was a sold-out title fight last month after a string of less successful cards, has already had discussions with management at the Sports Arena in hopes of promoting a show there Oct. 24.

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