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State says L.A. Coliseum has breached lease

January 15, 2013 |  7:48 pm
Los Angeles Coliseum

The financially troubled Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission has breached its lease contract with the state by failing to pay $500,000 in rent due at the end of the year, California officials said.

The declaration, which became public Tuesday, came as the latest sign of fiscal distress for the Coliseum, a taxpayer-owned stadium that is at risk for running out of money by the end of March.

The Coliseum's landlord, the California Science Center –- the museum that recently acquired the space shuttle Endeavour –- informed the stadium of its contract breach in a letter hand delivered Monday.

FULL COVERAGE: L.A. Coliseum under scrutiny

The rent goes to pay for public safety and maintenance of Exposition Park, state-owned land that is home to the Coliseum and several museums. The rent also supports the Science Center and the California African American Museum.

It was immediately unclear what the failure to pay the rent means for the management of the Coliseum.

The lease agreement between the state and the Coliseum says that if a breach of the lease is not corrected after two years' written notice, the state can force the Coliseum Commission to surrender the stadium to the state.

The Coliseum Commission, aware of its financial problems, has been trying to hand over day to day management of the stadium to USC. But the proposal has stalled.

The chairman of the California Science Center has opposed USC's demands for control of parking lots surrounding the stadium as a condition for taking over the stadium. The state's Legislative Black Caucus also opposes the parking lot deal.

RELATED:

Coliseum panel misses $500,000 rental payment to state

Legislature's black caucus objects to parts of USC-Coliseum deal

USC would gain control of taxpayer-owned parking lots under proposal

-- Rong-Gong Lin II

Photo: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

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