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Banning raves would be costly to L.A. Coliseum, Sports Arena

July 15, 2010 |  6:55 pm

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena could lose significant amounts of money if the public commission that oversees the venues continues a moratorium on rave concerts.

Whether raves will continue at the venues will be a question considered Friday by a joint city, county and state commission that oversees the Coliseum management, which was ordered to impose a moratorium on new contracts with rave producers after the suspected drug overdose death three weeks ago of a 15-year-old girl after she attended the Electric Daisy Carnival.

In response to a public records act request from the Los Angeles Times, the Coliseum management declined to disclose how much it was making from each rave, saying that maintaining confidentiality was critical to keeping the Coliseum competitive in seeking event bookings. It is clear, however, that raves are big business.

The size of audiences has increased dramatically in recent years. In 2009, the Electric Daisy Carnival attracted about 133,000 over two days; this year, 185,000 attended, the highest number at any such rave since the events began at the Coliseum and Sports Arena in the 1990s.

The cost to attend the Electric Daisy Carnival on June 25 was $75 while the cost on June 26 was $85; a ticket for both days was $149. It’s a “very significant piece of the annual budget,” Pat Lynch, the Coliseum’s general manager, said of such concerts.

The Coliseum and Sports Arena, which is located on state land, operates on event revenues and receives no taxpayer subsidy. Raves or electronic musical events that can last 12 hours and feature nonstop dancing are highly profitable. The Coliseum or Sports Arena has held four such events each year since 2008 – the Electric Daisy Carnival in June, the Love Festival in August, Monster Massive around Halloween and Together as One on New Year’s Eve.

-- Rong-Gong Lin II