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Troubled L.A. Coliseum has lost $7 million since 2009, audit says

May 4, 2012 |  7:14 am

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

The scandal-scarred Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission has lost more than $7 million since 2009, the panel disclosed this week.

The steep losses come as the Coliseum has been racing to surrender control of the 88-year-old historic stadium, built as a memorial for World War I veterans, to USC.

A new independent audit said that the Coliseum lost $2.4 million in the 2009-10 fiscal year and $4.8 million the following year. Late last year, Commission President David Israel disputed Times reports that the Coliseum was losing money.

The auditor attributed the steepest losses to the departure of rave concerts after the 2010 death of 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez, who overdosed at a Coliseum rave; unexpected legal and consulting expenses; underestimated insurance and depreciation costs; and the discovery that assets were missing.

The precarious financial situation of the Coliseum was seen as a key reason the stadium wants to quickly hand over the stadium to USC by June.

But an emissary of Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that state officials, who must independently approve aspects of the deal, are in no hurry to meet the Coliseum’s timetable.

Anna M. Caballero, the governor’s secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency, said state officials want to be satisfied that the deal is the best one possible for the taxpayers, who own the venue. “"The state won't be rubber-stamping … what the commission has negotiated or agreed to,” Caballero said.


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-- Rong-Gong Lin II

Photo: The inside of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times