Like sands through the hourglass, so are the daily swindles of L.A. residents and taxpayers — but there’s still a few hours to protest, maybe even delay, your city, county and state officials giving away one of LA’s most prized and historic facilities to USC, the region’s wealthiest private university.
Here’s how to protest by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
At 2:30 p.m. today, the Memorial Coliseum Commission meets to discuss and possibly vote on — an important question left deliberately unclear depending on how strong the protests are — to approve this amazingly generous gift of the Coliseum, Sports Arena and related properties to USC under a 42-year lease that Gov. Jerry Brown will soon extend to 99 years.
The terms of the deal give nothing back to the public. USC takes over the Coliseum Commission’s $1 million annual rent payments to the state and gets to keep all revenue, including naming rights, tickets sales, concessions, advertising — although sufficient signs of public disgust might squeeze some community benefits out of the deal just as they got the commissioners to surrender the benefits they wanted to take for themselves.Expand post
With all the transparency of an armed robber in the dead of a moonless night, the commission posted a terse statement on its website, yesterday apparently, saying that on April 24 the nine commissioners — city and county electeds and the governor’s appointees — had decided to drop the requirement that USC give each them 10 tickets to every event forever as if that makes the stench of this dirty deal any less nauseating.
It’s not like they are going to pay for all the free tickets and free trips to Super Bowls they have been taking all these years.
Proposed Restated Lease Agreement between Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission and The University of Southern California
April 24, 2012
Deletion of Paragraph 4.5(c)
(c) Ninety (90) complimentary tickets and associated parking to each USC Home Football Game during the Term in seating locations substantially similar to the seating and parking locations for the Complimentary Tickets provided to Landlord
under the Prior Agreement for the 2010 football season, along with access for USC games to a hospitality area at the Coliseum to be designated by Tenant for use by Landlord and its invitees, but not for sale by Landlord to any Person. Access to the
sidelines during each USC Home Football Games shall comply with USC Athletic Department and Office of Athletic Compliance policies and procedures for noninstitutional and institutional personnel. Tenant also agrees to use good faith efforts to
negotiate a reasonable allocation of complimentary tickets and associated parking for Landlord’s use to any NFL football games held in the Coliseum in the event Tenant negotiates a sublease or occupancy agreement with an NFL team.
Nothing like the crooks who chased away two professional football teams, failed to deliver on endless promises to modernize the Coliseum — only stadium in the world to host two Olympics, two Super Bowls and a World Series — and allowed the management to steal them blind, cutting a deal that benefits themselves while robbing the public once again.
Even the agenda for today’s meeting says a lot about what these public officials think of the public.
They will wade through how they have been losing money, respond to devastating audits and then provide the “USC Lease Update” before slamming the door on the public and going into closed session with officials from USC, California Science Center, Pac 12 Conference, Mahlmann Media and “Other Potential Tenants/Licensees” to finalize “Both Price and Terms of Payment” for the various properties under the commission’s control.
They also will discuss the various lawsuits their disgraceful failure to fulfill their responsibilities have led to — not to mention the criminal charges against the people they were supposed to be supervising and approving contracts with.
Then, they might seal the deal without even considering alternatives like a proposal from U.S. Capital, a sports and entertainment company, that has been trying unsuccessful to meet with Coliseum officials for a long time, without even responding to the company’s demand for public records or heeding its warnings that it was acting illegally. (D-Israel_LAC-Commission_LTR_4-30-12)
It’s hard not to see how this whole sports stadium game is playing out in so many fronts in a connected way — all part of the feeding frenzy going on among those who have feasted so long on City Hall and now see officials will to give away everything to buy another year or two:
- Angels owner Arte Moreno talking with AEG’s Tim Leiweke about relocating to LA.
- Leiweke ready to build an NFL stadium next to his Staples Center and LA Live.
- Leiweke’s close pal and sometime partner Magic Johnson taking a stake in the Dodgers with the possibility of turning Chavez Ravine into a residential-entertainment-shopping enclave and the team potentially moving to a downtown site.
It’s such a small greedy world and the people supposedly protecting your interests are the same people who turned the Coliseum into a perpetual scandal and have sold out your interests time and again to Tim Leiweke and the greed merchants like him.
Just for record, here are the names of the Coliseum Commission members, take note that Bernard Parks has fought this deal, the alternate member from the state is the wife of Council President Herb Wesson and the mayor’s appointee, Barry Sanders, is the president of Rec & Parks Commission who wants to commercialize the parks with advertising and father of the mayor’s press deputy Peter Sanders:
From the State of California: David Israel (President), Glenn Sonnenberg, William J. Chadwick, Fabian Wesson (alternate)
From the County of Los Angeles: Zev Yaroslavsky, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Don Knabe (Vice President), Mike Antonovich (alternate)
From the City of Los Angeles: Barry A. Sanders, Bernard C. Parks, Johnathan Williams, Tom LaBonge (alternate), Jill Werner (alternate)