Mar 12, 2012
Pasadena approves $400,000 study for NFL use of Rose Bowl
NFL team has yet to locate to Los Angeles area
Brenda Gazzar, SGVN - March 12, 2012
PASADENA - The City Council voted 6-to-1 to green-light an environmental study worth up to $400,000 Monday that supporters said will allow the Rose Bowl to vie as a temporary host for an NFL team should the opportunity arise.
Neither developer Ed Roski Jr. of Majestic Realty, which is proposing a stadium in Industry, nor Anschutz Entertainment Group, which is proposing Farmer's Field near LA Live downtown, has a team in hand and neither has begun construction. But if either proposal is successful, an interim facility, such as the Rose Bowl or the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, would likely be needed, officials said.
City Manager Michael Beck contends that hosting an NFL team could generate “tens of millions of dollars” a year in direct and indirect revenue for cash-strapped Pasadena. City officials say it could also go a long way in making up a $20 million financing gap in the historic stadium's $160 million renovation.
The city will split the cost of the study with the Rose Bowl Operating Co., which still must approve a $200,000 transfer to the city's General Fund, officials said.
“Completion of an (Environmental Impact Report) allows us to compete...but it also formalizes an opportunity for community input,” said Councilman Victor Gordo, president of the Rose Bowl Operating Co. “I think it's important to keep our options open and to have all the relevant information as it relates to impacts and potential mitigation measures.”
Councilman Terry Tornek voted against the motion Monday, noting that there has been no NFL pronouncement concerning having a team in the Los Angeles area in the near future.
“I think it's a highly speculative investment and an inappropriate one at this time,” Tornek told his colleagues.
The report would examine air quality, land use, noise, impacts on recreation, traffic and regional transportation in hosting an NFL team for up to five years, Beck said.
Rose Bowl neighbors have mixed views on the subject, with some citing concerns about safety and security impacts of hosting an NFL team.
The Linda Vista/Annandale Association's 18-member board last year voted unanimously opposed any occupancy of the Rose Bowl stadium by the NFL.
Councilwoman Jacque Robinson voted in favor of the proposal, arguing that “the Rose Bowl is not a neighborhood asset; it's a city asset.”
“I think we owe it to ourselves and we have a fiscal responsibility to contend for those revenues that may be derived from an NFL team if and when it comes to the City Council,” she said.
Pasadena resident Floyd Fulvin spoke out against the proposal, arguing that the city could use the money to avoid further layoffs rather than “spend money on future events beyond the control of the City Council.”
The City Council would need to certify the report and amend the city ordinance to increase the number of large events of 20,000 persons or more allowed at the stadium from 12 to up to 25 a year. Stadium and city officials say they are pursuing having a developer pay for the cost of the report but that it is not an expectation at this time.
Councilman Chris Holden was absent from Monday night's meeting. Mayor Bill Bogaard was also absent although he participated in the council meeting by speaker phone.