Commission emphasizes effort toward transparency

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission reiterated its commitment to transparent ongoing renegotiations of the venue’s master lease at its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday.

Assistant County Counsel Thomas Faughnan, a member of the nine-member commission, responded to a Los Angeles Times report that highlighted the closed-door nature of some of the more important discussions concerning the potential transfer of control of the Coliseum and other Exposition Park venues close to USC.

Public session · L.A. City representative on the Coliseum Commission Johnathan Williams reads through notes at the meeting on Wednesday. - Adrian Hoffmann | Daily Trojan

“The intention of [the closed-door sessions] is to provide a level playing field for all the entities involved in the negotiation,” Faughnan said. “Each closed session has been properly described in the next month’s agenda.”

USC and the Coliseum Commission have been in talks to renegotiate the terms of the master lease on the Coliseum since 2008, when the two parties agreed to a 25-year extendable lease that allowed USC football to continue to play in the venue. The commission is comprised of city, county and state officials.

The commission released a list of modifications to the lease in January, which have been made available to the public on the commission’s website, but the proposal has yet to be voted on by the commission itself.

If the modified term sheet were adapted, USC would gain exclusive rights to the Coliseum, the Sports Arena and other Exposition Park facilities. The university would also be required to complete renovations on the Coliseum by the end of 2021.

Though the reaction to the proposed terms has generally been positive, many present on Wednesday asked the commission to consider other options in the transfer of the Coliseum’s master lease.

U.S. Capital, LLC Executive Vice President Linda Paul once again called upon the commission to consider the San Diego-based sports and entertainment company’s proposal to manage the Coliseum in conjunction with other equity partners.