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Coliseum Commission expects to lose almost $300,000 after canceling rave

April 14, 2011 |  6:30 am
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission is expected to lose $297,000 for the fiscal year that ends in June, the result of canceling the Electric Daisy Carnival rave.

The producer of the rave, Insomniac Inc., moved the Electric Daisy Carnival to Las Vegas following reports in The Times that Insomniac was also paying money to an employee at the commission, events manager Todd DeStefano. DeStefano's job with the commission was to help oversee security and emergency medical services at the Electric Daisy Carnival in 2010; a 15-year-old girl who had attended the event died of an Ecstasy overdose.

A report submitted to commissioners Wednesday said the Coliseum had anticipated more than $800,000 in profit from the Electric Daisy Carnival in 2011. The commission has also paid more than $135,000 in legal fees related to last year's controversial rave.

"This fiscal year's results will obviously be much poorer than we would have liked," John Sandbrook, the interim general manager, told commissioners. Sandbrook was hired last month after the resignation of longtime general manager Patrick Lynch, who quit following The Times' reports that he approved DeStefano's double employment.

The commission will get a financial boost, however, from UCLA, which announced last week that it will play a majority of its home basketball games at the Sports Arena next season while Pauley Pavilion is being renovated. The commission also runs the dilapidated Sports Arena, built in 1959. It is slated for demolition, but the commission has no funds to tear it down.

In other matters, commissioners took no action on a request by Sandbrook to loosen requirements they abruptly adopted in March. At that time, the commission voted to remove the general manager's authority to approve event contracts – and instead required a vote by the commission. Sandbrook wants to be able to approve last-minute filming requests.

"It's clearly an impractical way to operate long term," said commission President David Israel. He said commissioners may consider easing those requirements in the next few months.

--- Rong-Gong Lin II at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
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