The LA Coliseum Paid For Really Cool Exhibition Matches That Never Happened

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

As part of a internal audit of the commission that runs the taxpayer-owned Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, officials have discovered that payments totaling $870,000 were made to two Uruguayan companies for exhibition soccer matches that never happened.

The payments were made as deposits on two separate attempts to bring “All-Stars” to the Coliseum. The first was in 2003, when the commission wired two payments totaling $200,000 to two different Uruguayan companies to facilitate a match. It never happened.

In 2009, the Coliseum tried again, this time working with another Uruguayan company to promote a “South American All-Stars” match. Two more payments were wired, one for $600,000 and a second for $70,000. Why it’s necessary, in the business of putting together an exhibition soccer match, to wire more than half a million dollars at once from LA to Uruguay is almost unfathomable.

In addition to all of that money sent to South America, the Coliseum commission director Patrick Lynch reserved banks of hotel rooms in anticipation of the event. When the game was cancelled, $17,000 more went down the drain.

The rampant money-wasting uncovered by the audit is exploding into full-blown scandal as we speak. There are important questions to ask of those in charge of the Coliseum, including why lax controls and wanton wastefulness was allowed to continue for years. In the meantime, soccer fans can’t help but wonder what exactly a “South American All-Stars” match might look like, and which stars of the Southern Hemisphere we missed out on seeing.

Source: LA Times

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