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3 Organizations Submit Bids to Run Coliseum Complex

October 27, 1987|KENNETH REICH | Times Staff Writer

Three management groups made bids Monday to become private operators of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena complex, launching what Coliseum officials said may be protracted negotiations on the future of the facilities.

Two of the bids--one by a partnership of MCA Inc.'s Music Entertainment Group and Spectacor Management and another by a partnership of Weintraub International and Madison Square Garden Corp.--called for assumption of complete management and extensive investment functions from the Coliseum Commission.

The third bid, which Coliseum aides indicated will not be acceptable, was from Facilities Management Group, operators of the New Orleans Superdome. The bid proposed that that firm be hired as a management team for the facilities, working under the commission.

Coliseum General Manager Joel Ralph indicated that representatives of the MCA-Spectacor and Weintraub-Madison Square Garden groups will be invited to give oral presentations at the next Coliseum Commission meeting Nov. 4.

Announced Move

Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Antonovich have all called for private management of the Coliseum complex in the wake of the Los Angeles Raiders announced move to Irwindale.

But Coliseum officials have conditioned their acceptance of such a plan on whether the precise management proposals seem satisfactory. On Monday, Coliseum Commission President Alexander Haagen said he has reservations about going private.

"My concern is how are we going to do those improvements that are needed," Haagen said.

He expressed concern that private operators might not be prepared to invest sufficient amounts in upgrading the aging Coliseum complex.

Details Revealed

The MCA-Spectacor bid, which was provided to The Times on Monday, calls for $10 million in initial investments by the firms to improve the Sports Arena, and it says that if the Raiders decide to remain at the Coliseum, the firms will pay the Coliseum Commission $1 million a year.

If the Raiders go ahead with their plans to leave, then the payments would be $525,000 a year, plus 20% of any net operating income of more than $1.78 million a year, according to the MCA-Spectacor bid.

Weintraub-Madison Square Garden declined to make terms of their bid known, and Coliseum officials said they will wait a few days at least before doing so.

Weintraub International President Harry Usher said his company's bid, like MCA-Spectacor's, encompasses plans for managing both the Coliseum and the Sports Arena. Coliseum aides, after a preliminary reading of both the MCA-Spectacor and Weintraub-Madison Square Garden bids, described them as "strong."

Suits USC Interest

USC, which had earlier indicated its desire to buy the Sports Arena, endorsed the MCA-Spectacor bid in a letter accompanying it and said management of the facility by the firms involved would suit USC's interest just as well.

Irving Azoff, president of MCA's Music Entertainment Group, said USC may come in as a one-third partner of MCA and Spectacor if they get the private management rights. Other MCA officials said the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team will also endorse their bid.

Ralph, meanwhile, said the Coliseum staff has been informed by attorneys that they will get more than $21 million in damages from the National Football League this week in accordance with a final court judgment against the league for trying to impede the Raiders move from Oakland in 1980-82.

The money is expected to give the Coliseum Commission the wherewithal to make investments in Coliseum and Sports Arena improvements on its own in the near future if it wishes.

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