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Coliseum meets on USC today

December 12, 2007|David Wharton

The Coliseum Commission will hold a special, closed-door meeting this afternoon as its members continue work on a counterproposal to keep USC football games from moving across town.

The university, frustrated by the lack of a long-term lease, has begun negotiations to switch to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena next fall.

USC had offered to spend $100 million renovating the Coliseum in exchange for a master lease that would allow it to operate the aging venue, scheduling events year-round and keeping the revenue to offset its costs. The commission has been reluctant to surrender control.

Earlier this week, state Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas proposed that the Legislature consider dissolving or restructuring the commission to keep USC in the stadium where it has played since 1923.

The Coliseum stands on state-owned land and is jointly operated by the city of Los Angeles, the county and the state.

Pat Lynch, the stadium's general manager, said he could not comment on today's meeting, but last week several of the nine commissioners spoke of their intent to fashion a compromise.

"I think that's their plan but we won't know until [today]," said Todd Dickey, USC senior vice president and general counsel. "We're cautiously optimistic."


-- David Wharton

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