Commission vote OKs stadium lease

Following eight months of negotiations, USC obtained day-to-day control of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in a vote by the Coliseum Commission on Monday.

The stadium’s nine-member governing body, represented by officials from the state, county, and city, voted 8-1 to surrender control of the facility and of the adjacent L.A. Sports Arena to the university for at least 20 years. The sole dissenting vote was cast by L.A. City Councilmember Bernard Parks, who has long opposed the amended lease as currently drafted.

Adrian Hoffman | Daily Trojan

The lease has five renewal options that would allow USC to control the stadium through 2054 — beyond the initial 20 years. The Coliseum Commission will also continue to oversee both facilities until the commission’s dissolution in 2054.

“We look forward to restoring the Coliseum to its former glory and ensuring its viability for many generations to come,” said Thomas Sayles, USC’s senior vice president for university relations, in a statement.

USC will be tasked with event scheduling, along with funding various improvements and restorations that are expected to total approximately $70 million. As a result, the university will be given control over revenue and will be allowed to negotiate the sale of the naming rights to the Coliseum. USC’s football team has been a tenant at the stadium since the Coliseum’s opening in May 1923.

In June 2011, the commission acknowledged it would be unable to make nearly $60 million in necessary renovations to the Coliseum, breaking the terms of the original lease with USC that was signed in 2008, which led the university to seek day-to-day management of the venue and the neighboring Sports Arena.