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USC granted control of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

USC will take control of the 90-year-old Coliseum for the next century. (C Flanigan/FilmMagic/Getty Images) USC will take control of the 90-year-old Memorial Coliseum for the next century. (C Flanigan/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

The University of Southern California finally got control over the publicly owned Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and nearly all of its revenue for the next century after the California Science Center gave its final approval Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

USC will pay the state of California $1 million in annual rent. That fee rises to $1.3 million in 2016 and afterward will be adjusted for inflation.

The school took over Coliseum operations for the 90-year-old stadium in July. The deal also gives control of the Los Angeles Sports Arena to USC and the school will spend up to $100 million on improvements in the Coliseum.

The football team has played their home games at the Coliseum since 1923.

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The commission approved the lease in May 2012 after months of closed-door talks, with the public and museum officials locked out. Commissioners had signed a confidentiality agreement that USC, a private school, requested early in the negotiations.

"We've worked hard to preserve this incredible institution," Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, president of the Coliseum Commission, told the Science Center board Wednesday. "It's a big day for all of us."

Marvin Holen, a member of the Science Center's fundraising foundation board, disagreed, saying the lease shortchanges taxpayers.

"It is a reflection of extraordinarily poor governance," Holen said. "It's inappropriate to turn over public property in the nature of Exposition Park, the Coliseum, Sports Arena and other such facilities to a private party for their own financial gain."

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