The Rams took off for Anaheim in 1979, complaining that the agency had failed to improve the concession stands, parking, sound system and scoreboard. Ending its half-century stay, UCLA moved to the Rose Bowl in 1982, angered by the commission's plan to install luxury boxes for the Raiders, which would have supplanted seats for college games.
The loss of the franchises meant there were fewer eyes on the commission and a waning interest in its affairs, including by the members themselves.
It was around this time that the panel hired Lynch. With the commission's blessing, he filled the leadership vacuum.
Tall and rumpled, Lynch was recruited from a Philadelphia-based company that once ran the Coliseum under a management contract. The Massachusetts native, 55, spent his first dozen years as Coliseum general manager focused on a fruitless campaign to lure another NFL team to the stadium.
Under Lynch, the Coliseum became increasingly dependent on marginal bookings -- the occasional soccer game, and movie and television shoots.
Raves became a crucial source of new revenue, although critics said the all-night dance parties had an unsavory reputation as vehicles for drug abuse.
After a 15-year-old died from an overdose following a June 2010 concert, the Coliseum came under new scrutiny and the first hints of possible financial improprieties emerged.
In the ensuing months, citing state records and interviews, The Times reported that firms owned by DeStefano, the events manager, had been paid at least $1.8 million from two rave producers and a number of other companies that did business with the stadium, all while he helped regulate them in his government job -- an arrangement Lynch approved, despite state laws that generally prohibit such side dealings.
Lynch had informed David Israel, the incoming commission president, of DeStefano's work for one rave company before it became public.
But Israel did not report the matter to law enforcement, telling The Times later that he did not know the legalities. Instead, he instructed Lynch to have DeStefano choose between his Coliseum post and his work for the rave companies. DeStefano elected to go with the better-paying producers.
The lack of further action over DeStefano's dealings was a sign of the commission's diminished appetite for hands-on management.
Their schedule called for meeting once a month, but they had trouble making that commitment.
In the two years before Lynch's resignation, the four elected officials on the commission were frequent no-shows. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas missed at least 18 of 24 meetings, according to commission minutes. City Councilman Bernard C. Parks skipped eight sessions; Knabe, seven; and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, five.
Caruso, an appointee of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, did not show up for 11 meetings, which routinely were brief and short on public questions from the panel.
The commissioners receive no pay for their service, but the posts came with perks that were more fun than the typical government grind. The collegial atmosphere Lynch fostered sometimes made the commission and its management staff seem like a family.
Lynch signed a policy that gave commissioners an allotment of free tickets to events at the Coliseum and Sports Arena.
When Ridley-Thomas wanted tickets to a 2009 Carolina Panthers game, invoices show, the commission's finance director bought them and billed the Coliseum. Ridley-Thomas did not reimburse the commission until about three months ago, after The Times inquired about the $560 pair of tickets. He said he had been waiting for a bill that Lynch never sent.
At USC games, Lynch's staff set up a VIP tent under the Coliseum's stately columns for the commissioners and their guests. There was beer and wine, barbecue chicken and rice pilaf, cake and ice cream, according to invoices. The commission picked up the tab.