Patt Morrison for August 15, 2011

USC’s claim on Coliseum could send NFL team to the Rose Bowl

Mercer 20219

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

USC Trojans fans cheer during the game with the Washington Huskies at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 2, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

There’s little doubt that an NFL stadium and team are coming to downtown LA in the not-so-distant future, and while that pie is on the horizon everyone’s angling for a piece of it. The city of Los Angeles hopes to raise some revenue by hosting the NFL team at the Coliseum during the three or four years it will take to complete the proposed downtown football stadium. But USC could block those efforts and prevent the city from squeezing out something extra; the school’s lease gives the Trojans veto power over the NFL returning to the stadium. They’re using that as leverage to try to negotiate a long-sought new “master lease,” which would give the school near-total control over the stadium. The Coliseum commission is hesitant to turn a public stadium over to private university hands, but if USC doesn’t get their way and chooses to block the NFL from playing in the Coliseum, the team would likely go to the Pasadena Rose Bowl. Is USC being selfish? Who has civic responsibility here? Does Pasadena want 90,000 fans coming regularly to the Rose Bowl?


Darryl Dunn, CEO/General Manager, the Rose Bowl

David Israel, president of the Coliseum Commission

Bernard Parks, city councilman whose district includes the Coliseum; he also sits on the Coliseum's governing commission

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