USC's position on the Coliseum *

An open letter from Athletic Director Mike Garrett. Excerpt:

It gives me no pleasure to write a letter of this kind, but there are issues facing our university that you need to understand. The University of Southern California has been negotiating diligently for months, trying to renew USCís lease with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and trying to get guarantees that USCís football team and fans can enjoy home games in a completely renovated and improved stadium.

Unfortunately, talks are at an impasse, and right now we have no lease for the Coliseum next year. As a precaution, USC has negotiated a lease with the Rose Bowl to ensure that we have an acceptable stadium in which to play our home football games for the foreseeable future.

But this arrangement is not what we want....

* Updates:

  • Todd Dickey, senior VP for administration at USC, admitted on KPCC's "Airtalk" this morning that the threat to a move is a reluctant negotiating tactic, but one they would back up with action if needed.Audio
  • Bill Plaschke in the LAT: "Hearing USC's threat to move its football team from the Coliseum to the Rose Bowl is like hearing a well-dressed boardwalk preacher shouting that the world will end at midnight. You walk past, you shake your head, you know it's baloney. But later that night, if only for a moment, you quietly check your watch."
  • Los Angeles City Council members Jack Weiss and Greig Smith introduced a measure to explore restructuring the role of the Coliseum Commission, which has lost the Rams, Raiders and Bruins and which refuses to accept the NFL's decision to never again play in the Coliseum.

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