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USC in talks to buy Coliseum from the state

first_imgUSC is currently involved in negotiations to buy state-owned property in Exposition Park, which includes the land under the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena and five surrounding parking lots.Selling game · Spectators fill the Coliseum on game day. USC is in the process of buying the Coliseum from the state. The property has been owned by the state since 1921 and the Coliseum Commission has a lease that extends to 2054. – Daily Trojan file photo The Coliseum and Sports Arena are currently jointly owned by the state of California, Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, which has board members from each of the three ownership interests, manages the facilities according to a lease with the state.The state approached USC with a proposal for a sale and talks began in early December, with the state initially offering to sell the property it has owned since 1921 for $54 million.California’s current budget problems provided the impetus for the governor’s office to contact the university with the proposed sale, said Kristina Raspe, the university’s associate senior vice president of real estate and asset management.“We’re proposing to buy the land from the state of California, and we would buy the land subject to the existing leases,” Raspe said. “The Coliseum Commission has a lease that goes through 2054, so nothing would change with regard to the operation of the Coliseum on a day-to-day basis.”Raspe said she expected a deal to be reached by the end of December, but the negotiation process was extended when the Board of Directors for Exposition Park and the California Science Center decided on Dec. 22 to continue studying all aspects of the offer before approving the sale.Los Angeles City Council members Bernard Parks, Jan Perry and Ed Reyes had contacted the Board to request that there be “adequate community outreach and discussion” before a sale was approved, according to the Daily News.Councilman Parks, who is also a member of the Coliseum Commission, expressed concern about land in a public park being sold to a private entity such as USC.“Rather than go and make a decision about a sale, they should create the prospect of a designated buyer while having the process done in a public setting so that everybody knows the ramifications of what they’re talking about,” Parks said. “The public needs to know what it’s going to mean to have a public park go into private hands.”Parks said he stressed the importance of communication in the sale because there are too many questions surrounding technicalities of the sale that even members of the Coliseum Commission don’t know the answers to.Negotiations are likely to take at least two to three months, Raspe said, and any deal will have to be approved by newly inaugurated Gov. Jerry Brown.The Coliseum Commission would still be in charge of any maintenance, improvements and leasing opportunities for the stadium, and USC would pay rent for six days a year for each home football game.Because of the Coliseum’s status as a national historic landmark, a complete redevelopment of the property is unlikely. The stadium will continue to benefit from improvements, but its landmark status restricts what can be done with the land.The Sports Arena, though, is already the subject of redevelopment plans. According to the Coliseum Commission, the current arena is underutilized and in need of several structural upgrades.Two months ago, the commission submitted an environmental impact report for circulation that outlines redevelopment of the property into either a Major League Soccer stadium or an open-air amphitheater and multiple-use space.Raspe said USC is supportive of the Coliseum Commission’s plans for redevelopment of the Sports Arena and, in the event of a successful purchase of the property, would have input in the process of redevelopment.Raspe said that despite the long negotiations ahead, the university is optimistic about the potential sale.“It’s a nice way to preserve all the properties in the park while allowing the university to upgrade them,” she said. “People seem to be positive, but there’s a long way to go before we have a deal.”The Coliseum Commission’s lease on the structures would remain in place even if USC were to buy the property on which they are built. It would continue to operate the Coliseum and Sports Arena while the university would act as the landlord of the commission.Parks questioned exactly how such a relationship between the commission and the university would work in the event of a sale, especially since the university would then be “both a landlord and a tenant.”The parking lots would still have to be available for the museums and events at the Coliseum and Sports Arena, but they would provide additional overflow parking for the university, should it be necessary, Raspe said.last_img read more

Rodgers, Safdar emerge as key doubles players for Syracuse

first_imgAmanda Rodgers and Komal Safdar may appear to have little in common, but by the end of their sophomore year the doubles partners were able to call each other best friends. The lefty Rodgers stands at almost 6 feet tall, studies communications and rhetorical studies and has a more outgoing personality. Her usual doubles partner Safdar stands at only 5-feet, 6-inches, is a righty, studies biochemistry and is more shy. The two started playing doubles during their sophomore years and have been mostly successful since — going 2-1 in the Big East tournament together last year and starting the current season 1-1-1 as partners. Interim head coach Shelley George recently switched up doubles pairings to try and right her team’s early-season struggles, but that hasn’t changed the relationship developed by the two. “I nicknamed them ‘Team Fantastic.’ They just fit right from the very first moment,” said former Syracuse head coach Luke Jensen, who originally paired the two together. “They handled adversity really well. They haven’t really smoked teams, but they always come out the better team in the end because they find a way to win.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe two were not always the best of friends. But at the start of their sophomore year, they started hanging out more often. Safdar would come to Rodgers’ apartment more frequently as the year went on, as their bond grew and then strengthened when Jensen paired them together. “She’s very positive and I’m very positive, so I think we both have really good outlooks on life,” Rodgers said. “We are different in a lot of ways, but we have the same morals and stuff, so it was easy to get along with her.”The duo struggled together at first. Because they have different dominant hands, when the ball would come down the middle of the court the partners had trouble deciding who would use their forehand. They struggled determining who would call off the other person, especially on overheads. Safdar said the two practiced for hours each day just working on issues of communication.Eventually the duo figured out the issues. They won 10 matches together last year, not including the Big East tournament, and their only defeat this season came in a highly competitive 8-6 set. The duo figured out how to play to their strengths more, with Rodgers leaning on the big serve and consistent groundstrokes, and Safdar sticking to her aggressive style and strong net play. “We go to our strengths,” Safdar said. “The strengths are that for one, she’s really consistent so she’ll often set me up at the net, whether it’s with her big serve. That’s a huge thing. She’ll pretty much serve our opponent off the court and I’m right there to volley it out.”Having such a strong bond helps take some of the pressure off Rodgers and Safdar and creates a more comfortable atmosphere. This type of ease they feel helps when the two have to close out tight matches.“It’s great because it creates a relaxed environment,” Safdar said. “We can laugh about things, but we also know how to stay competitive.”While Safdar and Rodgers had some success to start this season, the team as a whole struggled and failed to win a match with the two playing together. The pairings will be different moving forward, but Rodgers’ and Safdars’ experience in doubles could help the Orange moving forward. “We haven’t been winning the doubles point,” George said. “We’re just changing it up a little bit and finding something that works and something we can hang our hat on.” Comments Published on March 4, 2014 at 12:32 am Contact Ryan: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Steelers now in role of spoilers

first_imgMiami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace (11) shakes hands with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin before an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013. Miami won 34-28. (AP Photo/Tom E. Puskar)After being eliminated from any chance of making the playoffs with a loss to the Miami Dolphins, 34-28 last weekend, the Steelers, 5-8, will now play the role of spoilers for the remainder of the season having to play the AFC North division leading Cincinnati Bengals, 9-4, this weekend.After the big game against the Bengals they will close out against the Green Bay Packers, 6-6-1 and the Cleveland Browns, 3-9. If they win out they could still break even with an 8-8 record, but it’s not likely they will defeat both the Bengals and Packers.The Bengals are still looking to move up into the number two slot if the New England Patriots continue to play the way they have been playing in the first half and finally slip up and lose to someone. The Packers are still in the NFC North race especially if the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears, 7-6 continue to be inconsistent.Right now the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins are tied for the final AFC playoff spot with three games to go, with several teams at 6-7. The Ravens have a monster schedule facing three division leaders in their final three games. They play the Detroit Lions, 7-6; the Patriots, 10-3 and the Bengals, 9-4. While the Dolphins play the Pats, then the Buffalo Bills,4-9 and the New York Jets, 6-7.last_img read more

Jamaica and Guyana to Strengthen Relations

first_imgStory Highlights Commenting on the Joint Commission, the President of Guyana said attention was paid to food security, noting that there is enough land space in Guyana and the region for agricultural production. Jamaica and Guyana have agreed to strengthen bilateral relations in the areas of trade, investment and agriculture.The two countries will reactivate the Guyana-Jamaica Joint Commission that was set up under the Agreement on Economic, Technical and Cultural Cooperation and which was signed by both states on June 1, 1995.This followed discussions between Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; and President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, David Granger, today  (July 6) at the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM),  held in Montego Bay, St James.The reactivation will see both countries collaborating on trade and investment and agriculture, among other things.Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, told JIS News that the partnership is about building strong relations in the region.“Somehow, within the regional context, we don’t always pay enough attention to the strengthening of what we can do across borders and building the relationships with each other,” she said.She said the Meeting, so far, has been “excellent” and the Heads have been having “robust discussions”.“When the decisions are announced and explained, it will be interesting to understand the balance that has been created and how that will be accepted or interpreted by the public,” he said.Commenting on the Joint Commission, the President of Guyana said attention was paid to food security, noting that there is enough land space in Guyana and the region for agricultural production.Further, he said that Caribbean countries could produce all the food needed for the hotel sector and its people.The President said that Guyana is on the brink of going into the petroleum industry and will be using the resources to enrich the Caribbean’s access to energy.He said that discussions also focused on public security, including trafficking in persons, threat of terrorism, and money laundering.The inaugural Meeting of the Joint Commission was held from September 4 to 5, 1997 in Jamaica, with discussions covering the areas of agriculture, trade and investment, mining, energy, health, tourism, youth and culture. The two countries will reactivate the Guyana-Jamaica Joint Commission that was set up under the Agreement on Economic, Technical and Cultural Cooperation and which was signed by both states on June 1, 1995. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, told JIS News that the partnership is about building strong relations in the region.last_img read more

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