Sports Law • Risk Management

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Suffers the Consequences of Alleged Mismanagement

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is the center of a controversy involving the recent grand jury indictment which alleged that the former long term general manager of the Coliseum, the former events manager, and the chief executive of a rave promotion company were involved in embezzlement, bribery, conspiracy and conflicts of interest. The financial consequence of this alleged mismanagement has led the Coliseum to hard times in recent years and time will tell whether the facility will survive. Unfortunately, facilities operating in the red have challenges addressing risk management issues as the cost of maintenance, security personnel, safety measures and insurance is high.

The need for cost cutting measures that negatively impact public safety is often necessary. For that reason, one of the best risk management techniques is maintaining financial soundness and operating at a profit. Checks and balances should be in place to ensure that management and anyone charged with the finances are acting in the best interest of the facility. Background checks should be completed before hiring and regular audits should be conducted.

Hopefully, the Coliseum will survive this tragic circumstance rather than closing as many Olympic Venues around the world have done after the Games. Part of the planning for the Olympic Games at any venue is to address the issue of how the facilities can be successfully utilized in the years after the Games. It is remarkable that after so many years, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is still limping along. Hopefully, with the indictment and arrest of the officials that allegedly mismanaged the Coliseum, it can move in a profitable and safe direction.