Raves at L.A. Coliseum: State official wants answers
The chairman of the board of directors for the state agency that serves as landlord for the L.A. Memorial Coliseum Commission expressed dismay Wednesday over a lack of answers concerning rave parties at its venues.
Robert L. Stein, chairman of the California Science Center and Exposition Park board, said at the monthly board meeting that he was uncomfortable that an events manager with the Coliseum commission also was paid by a rave producer, as reported in The Times.
"I, for one, take this seriously. I'm not comfortable with the things that have gone on, as it reflects to the overall park," Stein said. "I'm concerned that we don't have that type of feeling out in the community, so that people don't want to come to the park."
Stein expressed concern about hosting raves at the Coliseum and Sports Arena in Exposition Park, which includes the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum. Raves are dance parties that can last as long as 12 hours and have been criticized for fueling drug abuse.
"This park has millions of children that come here every day," Stein said. "And we want to make sure that there's no ill effect of the type of activities that are going on at the park."
Coliseum commission finance manager Ronald Lederkramer, making his first public appearance as interim general manager, offered limited answers.
He said there were a number of investigations ongoing, but he was unable to provide information without first meeting with the Coliseum commission. It was scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon.
Stein also expressed concern about the Coliseum commission's financial stability, noting that Lynch had said that revenue from the Electric Daisy Carnival rave was equivalent to revenue from two USC football games.
The park relies on rent revenue generated by the Coliseum to support Exposition Park. Lederkramer said the commission's short-term finances are not an issue, declining to be more specific.
Lederkramer also defended the commission's prospects of hosting more raves.
"We don't have the ability to pick and choose the events just because we personally don't like them," Lederkramer said.
Board member William J. Chadwick, a former Coliseum commissioner, said others should not use their personal viewpoints about not wanting their children to attend raves as reason to stop holding the events at the Coliseum and Sports Arena.
Chadwick also said that the California Science Center and Exposition Park's board of directors does not have a say in what kinds of events the Coliseum commission holds. The arrangement between the two agencies is defined by a lease agreement, Chadwick said.
Stein said the Coliseum commission's president, David Israel, refused to accept an invitation to attend Wednesday's board meeting to provide a report regarding Coliseum commission management and the Electric Daisy Carnival.
Insomniac Inc., the producer of Electric Daisy, has decided to cancel its rave at the Coliseum this June and move it to Las Vegas.
The California Science Center and Exposition Park, an agency of the state government, is governed by a nine-member board of directors appointed by the governor.
-- Rong-Gong Lin II reporting from the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum
Photos, from top: L.A. Memorial Coliseum general manager Patrick Lynch; California Science Center and Exposition Park board member William Chadwick. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times; Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times