California Science Center grants control of Coliseum to USC

Source: Rong-Gong Lin II and Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times, September 5, 2013

The California Science Center gave final approval Wednesday to a deal that grants USC control over the publicly owned Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and nearly all of its revenue for the next century. With no debate, the lease agreement passed on a voice vote by five of the eight Science Center board members, all appointed by the governor’s office. Finalizing the arrangement took more than a year longer than the Coliseum’s governing commission had hoped, largely because its secretive handling of the lease deliberations alienated key backers of the Science Center and two other museums that share Exposition Park with the stadium. The commission approved the lease in May 2012 after months of closed-door talks, with the public and museum officials locked out. Commissioners had signed a confidentiality agreement that USC, a private school, requested early in the negotiations.