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USC to respond to new Coliseum offer

first_imgUSC officials said they will respond today to a new offer of a long-term lease from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission aimed at keeping the Trojan football team from moving to Pasadena’s Rose Bowl. The commission sent the offer to USC Thursday, a day after a closed- session meeting. Coliseum General Manger Patrick Lynch declined to provide details of the offer, saying on Wednesday: “It’s our intention to keep the negotiations confidential.” The offer includes a compromise on the key issue — control of the stadium — the Daily News reported. The commission is seeking to form a partnership with USC in selling naming rights to the stadium that would pay for much of its renovation, according to the newspaper. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“They are proposing to put in $100 million by selling the naming rights,” Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, a commission member, told the Daily News. “We are looking at selling the naming rights and believe we can get more than that.” USC’s lease to play its football games at the Coliseum ended with its Dec. 1 game against UCLA. Negotiations for a long-term lease were proceeding well until early October, when the commission notified USC it would need to raise rent by 10 percent — $108,000 a year — to cover costs handed down by the state, according to the Daily News. An impasse ensued, prompting USC to begin negotiations with Pasadena’s Rose Bowl for a one-year lease, beginning with the 2008 season, with an option for a second. Rose Bowl operators unanimously agreed Dec. 6 to delay making an agreement with USC, citing the need for UCLA, which has used the Rose Bowl as its home football stadium since 1982, to comment on a possible contract. USC has played at the Coliseum since 1923, the year the stadium opened. “Our goal remains to secure a viable improvement plan for the Coliseum,” James Grant, executive director of the USC Media Relations Office, said Thursday. In June, USC officials made two offers to the Coliseum Commission, including a 75-year master lease that would have given the school control of the Coliseum, including all naming and broadcasting rights. In exchange, USC would have spent $100 million renovating the stadium. That offer was rejected by the commission because it would have given USC the power to veto any effort by the NFL to return to the Coliseum, reduce the number of charity events held there and provided the university with all of the stadium’s advertising revenue, Lynch said. “What happens if USC decides it doesn’t want a certain group to perform or appear?” Yaroslavsky said. “There would be no ability for the public to have a say.” One impediment toward reaching an agreement with USC is that the Coliseum Commission still needs to finalize its lease agreements with the state, which owns the Coliseum. The commission could know as soon as tomorrow how much the state plans to charge for rent, the Los Angeles Times reported. Yaroslavsky is optimistic about a deal being reached. “The sooner they get back to the table, the sooner we can resolve all of this,” Yaroslavsky said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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