LETTER FROM THE ROSE BOWL STADIUM
Intro: The Rose Bowl was built in 1922 to replace Tournament Park on the campus of Caltech which had been deemed unsuitable for the larger and larger crowds gathering to watch the New Year's Day college bowl games. It was to be the new, permanent home for the games, a grand venue that would showcase beautiful Pasadena to the country, indeed, the whole world. The stadium has served this role admirably to this day and hopes to continue that role in the future. But the venerable Rose Bowl, in its 86th year is more than the many facts that one can enumerate about it. It and other iconic institutions tell the story of our past. It makes one wonder, what if they could talk to us? What would they say?
A few words from an old friend...
The friends who were born with me in 1922 grow fewer each year.
Many are already gone. Judy Garland, Yitzhak Rabin, Charles Shultz, Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut. They all made a difference in the world and so did I.
But the center of my world is and always will be Pasadena.
I am the Rose Bowl.
Recently, another famous venue, born a year later than I, hosted its last event. Can you believe that Yankee Stadium is no more, replaced by a replica? Is that any way to treat a national treasure?
Whenever my fellow Pasadenans venture away from home, and people ask them where they are from, my name almost always comes up. People around the world have seen my face --- not bad considering I have never left town.
From Pasadena and beyond, people know my history, 86 years of memories: the Four Horseman, Wrong Way Roy Riegels, Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler, John McKay and Terry Donahue.
Millions have fond memories about the first time they walked through a tunnel and saw the field, the game's pageantry and excitement, the pride when their university appeared here. They remember the passion of World Cup soccer and the once-in-a-lifetime thrill when 90,000 fans saw the U.S. women win a world's championship.
They remember the Rose Bowl game, the Rolling Stones, the graduation ceremonies, UCLA vs. USC, the Turkey Tussle, and America's best birthday celebration each year.
I want to continue to be a national and local icon and earn my keep just as I have for these many years. But at 86 years of age, I need some care, thoughtful refurbishments in keeping with my historic status: improvements to make entering and exiting safer, better ways to serve patrons and respond to their demands for upgraded facilities and comforts.
I do not want to fade away like Yankee Stadium. I know I mean more than that to Pasadena.
I do need your help. I know that together we can attain what few stadiums have achieved:
A future as bright as my past.
Editor's Note: Darryl Dunn, General Manager of the Rose Bowl Operating Company (RBOC,) wrote this article. Darryl has been with the Rose Bowl Operating Company 1995) and is overseeing the renovation of this venerable institution. West Pasadena Resident's Association (WPRA) leadership supports the RBOC's renovation goals and has been meeting with Darryl, members of the RBOC board and other neighborhood associations to discuss and monitor the renovation efforts.