A private management agreement to be outlined today to the Coliseum Commission will call for commitments of $26 million to refurbish the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena, Coliseum officials said Tuesday.
The commitments would include $13 million from the commission and $13 million from the prospective manager, a business partnership of MCA Inc.'s Music Entertainment Group and Spectacor Management, Coliseum General Manager Joel Ralph and Commissioner Richard Riordan said.
But they declined to say whether spending the money would be contingent on successful negotiation of an agreement to keep the Los Angeles Raiders in the Coliseum. The Raiders have said they plan to move to a new stadium in suburban Irwindale.
Raider owner Al Davis has said he does not intend to resume talks with Coliseum representatives, but Coliseum officials still hope that the Irwindale deal will collapse and that talks with Davis will resume.
The unwillingness of Ralph and Riordan to provide details of the proposed 15-year agreement to the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday caused the council to defer a vote on a change in the joint powers agreement under which the Coliseum complex is governed. That vote would have authorized the Coliseum Commission to enter into a private management agreement.
On a motion by Councilwoman Joy Picus, the council instructed City Administrative Officer Keith Comrie to review the agreement--or as much of it as he is allowed to see--and recommend a course of action to the council today.
"I want to see a contract first," said Picus. "They seem to be asking us for a blank check."
Ralph and Riordan said the agreement will be explained at a meeting of the commission today, but that no final document will be available by that time. They asked the council to vote to allow the commission to act as it wishes, saying that they are not sure that city approval actually is necessary.
The County Board of Supervisors has already given county approval to a change in the joint powers agreement, but state officials have yet to act. The nine-member Coliseum Commission includes three representatives each from the state, county and city.
Details of the prospective agreement have been closely held since a Coliseum negotiator, Lawrence Greenberg, began intensive discussions with representatives of MCA, Inc.-Spectacor in December.
There have been signs that the agreement, when it becomes public, will be subject to sharp debate. The three current state members on the commission, for example, have all expressed reservations about some aspects of the proposal.
The commission decided to consider hiring a private manager after Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky both called for a move to private management after the Raiders announced in August they were moving.
Bradley and Yaroslavsky contended that the often-divided commission had been proven to be an inept manager and was responsible for the decision of several teams to move from the Coliseum and Sports Arena.