The Associated Press reports United Airlines sent a letter to USC offering to terminate the $69 million naming rights deal after Coliseum Commission pushback this week.
“If USC is not in a position to honor the terms of the agreement, including in particular the name change, United would be amenable to abiding by the wishes of the community, stepping away from this partnership with USC, and mutually terminating the agreement,” United Airlines California President Janet Lamkin wrote in the letter obtained by The Associated Press.
Is this a bluff by United? USC obviously does not want to back out of the deal.
It looks like this story will not go away.
UPDATED: USC responded to the Associated Press that it would be open to “accepting the wishes of the veteran community to modify the proposed naming agreement to United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.” The university said the airline would have to agree and the deal would have to be changed, but it didn’t provide details.
UPDATED II: L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn has issued her own statement.
“I am disappointed that United is unwilling to pursue a compromise and I think veterans across the country will be disappointed as well.”
UPDATED III: This phrase in United’s letter seems to be what Hahn is unhappy about: “If USC is not in a position to honor the terms of the Agreement, including in particular the name change, United would be amenable to abiding by the wishes of the community, stepping away from this partnership with USC…”
So United is all-or-nothing. USC is in a tough spot.