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USC Students Organizing Boycott of Coliseum Concessions

Paragon has been covering the brou-ha-ha between USC and the Coliseum Commission as it has taken on new life with USC's agreement with the Rose Bowl to play 2008 home games in Pasadena.

It's safe to say that nobody is particularly thrilled with this impasse. It's hard to understand why the Coliseum Commission can't understand a clear "no" from the NFL and is turning down the opportunity to have USC pay for renovations.

USC, after all, is the oldest tenant of the Coliseum; indeed their agreement to play football there was one of the contributing reasons for the construction of the stadium. It is also appropriate that USC - the main tenant and a private entity - pick up the tab for renovations, rather than holding hostage the taxpayers of Los Angeles or indeed the state of California.

One can only conclude that either the Commission thinks that USC is bluffing, or that they genuinely don't understand what it means to have Coliseum revenue drop off. This seems odd, as at least a couple of the Commission Members appear to have had applicable work experience, which in this case I would define as some P&L responsibility.

The USC Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) are organizing a boycott of Coliseum concessions this weekend, to give the Coliseum Commission a preview of what it means to lose the concession money. The goal is that all students, alumni, and other fans will join in the effort and spend their money elsewhere.

Paragon quoted Coliseum Commissioner William Chadwick as saying the following:

"I think it would be great if they played at the Rose Bowl for two years [.] At the end of that two years, the leverage we would have in negotiations would be spectacular."

Mr Chadwick apparently thinks that 2 years without USC football revenue is a minor detail for the Coliseum, which is the luxury of not having his job depend on financial results I suppose.

This ongoing debacle is ridiculous - USC and the Coliseum have been joined together since the Coliseum opened. No doubt there's room for negotiation, but the Coliseum Commission is doing the general public a disservice by holding out for an NFL team that isn't going to come.

If the Coliseum Commission doesn't believe that the University is really serious, perhaps their paying customers can give them a preview of what it's like to try and hit their operating costs on monster truck shows and flea markets.

If you're going to the Coliseum this weekend, please consider joining in the boycott.