Oct 26, 2009

City, Rose Bowl officials call U2 concert a smashing success

Pasadena Star News
Monday, October 26, 2009

U2 at the Rose bowl

PASADENA - As the mammoth stage was dismantled Monday and 96,000 U2 fans recovered their hearing after Sunday's show, the largest concert in Rose Bowl history was being hailed by officials as an all-around musical, financial and logistical triumph.

Photo Gallery: U2 and Black Eyed Peas at the Rose Bowl

“This event will go down as one for the ages for the Rose Bowl - and that's tough to say given the history of events here," Rose Bowl General Manager Darryl Dunn said. "The atmosphere was electric, people were so excited, and all the reports received from those assisting with the show and the promoters of the tour were outstanding.”

A team of 5,000 worked Sunday's event, Dunn said, calling it a “true collaboration.” The event is expected to make between $300,000 and $400,000 for the stadium, he said.

Ten months of preparation with the Pasadena Police Department and event transportation consultants, The John Blanchard Co., paid off, Dunn said.

“It just got bigger and bigger and bigger as it got closer," he said. "I'm really proud of the effort and the results.”

Audiences heeded the Rose Bowl management's appeals to arrive early and make a day of it, pre-pay parking, carpool and use shuttles and public transportation, Dunn said.

“We knew it was a challenge,” he said, adding that an estimated 8,000 to 9,000 people used public transportation and 20,000 used shuttle services from Pasadena City College and Parsons parking lots.

“We ended up not even parking the whole Rose Bowl and (Brookside) golf course,” Dunn said. “People did listen to the recommendations...The typical mentality of the concert crowd is to come within one hour of the event.”

Lee Zanteson, president of the Linda Vista/Annandale Neighborhood Association, said traffic control went well, apart from two small streets that should have been barricaded and were not - which he called “less than a crisis.”

“And it was not quite as loud as I expected,” Zanteson said.

Even the fact that the concert went about 15 minutes past its official 11 p.m. curfew didn't bother him, he said.

“I was sound asleep, I don't care - I expected they would,” he said. “In this case, it was for the greater good - the Rose Bowl was making money, the town was making money and it made a lot of people happy.”

Dunn said technical issues made the concert run a little late, and they were in touch with the promoters over a possible penalty imposed by the city.

U2 fans apparently spent time in Old Pasadena before and after the concert, said Steve Mulheim, president and CEO of the Old Pasadena Management District.

“It was hopping all day,” Mulheim said of the city's retail and restaurant hub, although no figures are available yet.

“A number of stores we've called said it was a phenomenal day, the best they've had in a long time, and can we have U2 here every weekend,” he said.

Not everyone used shuttles or public transportation - there were plenty of limos delivering celebrity fans.

Among those spotted by U2 fan Courtney Saavedra - in the VIP section courtesy of a friend's husband in U2's entourage - were Barbra Streisand, Demi Moore, Ewan McGregor, Hilary Swank, Elvis Costello, Winona Ryder, and Cindy Crawford.

“It was fantastic,” Saavedra said of the concert. “I felt that I was part of history, that the world was watching... and that it was the biggest party I'll ever attend in my life.”

By Janette Williams, Staff Writer

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