Steve Soboroff (born August 31, 1948) is immediate Past President and current Vice President of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, a member of the Board of Directors of the Weingart Foundation, and past Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Playa Vista. In September 2011 he was appointed by the California Science Center to be the Senior Advisor to the museum in its project with NASA to bring, and permanently exhibit, the Space Shuttle Endeavour to the CSC. He is Chairman of the Maccabiah Games Committee of 18, a member of the Board of Directors of the Macerich Company (NYSE), and is widely known as the foremost collector of typewriters which were previously owned by famous individuals.
Soboroff is the Chairperson of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. He is also a Senior Fellow and member of the Advisory Board at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs, a member of the Board of Councillors at the USC Price School of Public Policy. He served as Senior Advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.
From 1995-2000 he was President of the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Commission and prior to that was a member of the L.A. Harbor Commission where he was instrumental in making the Alameda Corridor project happen. Soboroff ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Los Angeles in 2001 with then Mayor Riordan's endorsement.
Soboroff is widely credited as the driving force behind the development of STAPLES Center in downtown Los Angeles, having come up with a plan, as Senior Advisor to Mayor Riordan, to keep the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings in the City of Los Angeles instead of the teams developing a new arena in Inglewood, California. According to The Los Angeles Times:
The vision came to him hundreds of feet in the air. Looking down at the Convention Center from a rented helicopter, Steve Soboroff was struck by inspiration. "That piece of property," he says. "God put it there for an arena. Turning this notion into reality--the $400-million Staples Center--would require years of high hopes and dead ends, political infighting and uncommon cooperation. Millionaires, elected officials and civil servants all would play roles. As is probably the case with any undertaking of this magnitude, few of them now agree on precisely how and why things got done. But pretty much everyone concurs the project began with one man.
2001 race for mayor
Soboroff entered the 2001 mayoral primary election, and received Riordan's endorsement. In the primary, Soboroff received the most votes among many groups including Westsiders and residents of the San Fernando Valley. He finished third overall, with 108,000+ votes, coming within 3% of eventual winner James K. Hahn. Hahn and former California State Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa advanced to the runoff.
In 2005, many of the traffic-fighting proposals Soboroff introduced during his 2001 campaign, as well as his plan to break up the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), were reintroduced by other candidates in that year's mayoral contest. Later in 2005, newly elected Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, with whom Soboroff competed for the Mayor's job in 2001, implemented Soboroff's proposal to ban all road construction during rush hour. Villaraigosa's 2005 and 2009 campaign manager, Ace Smith, played the same role for Soboroff in 2001.
In October 2001, six months after finishing out of contention in the Los Angeles mayoral race, Soboroff joined Playa Vista as the company's President. He oversaw the development of 20 parks, an elementary school, offices, residences other amenities that resulted in one of the most popular neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The wetlands were preserved and major traffic mitigation improvements were established.
Los Angeles Dodgers
On April 19, 2011, Soboroff was hired to be the Vice Chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. His responsibilities were said to include leading the efforts to improve the fan experience and strengthening the team's ties to the community. One day later, Major League Baseball seized control of the Dodgers from McCourt. He resigned his position on June 25, 2011, citing the "unanticipated action by the commissioner of Major League Baseball..." as preventing him from doing the job he was hired for.
- Vincent, Roger. "Steve Soboroff moving on from Playa Vista; He played a lead role in getting the project built" Los Angeles Times. 21 April 2010
- Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Esquire Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, etc. (articles on Soboroff Typewriter Collection)
- "UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs - Senior Fellows". Spa.ucla.edu. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- "Steve Soboroff joins Los Angeles Dodgers as Vice Chairman". Losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com. 2011-04-19. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- Tony JacksonESPNLosAngeles.comFollowArchive (2011-06-25). "Steve Soboroff resigns from Dodgers". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-03-31.