Nov 9, 2012

Op-ed: NFL is like winning the lottery

Pasadena Sun - November 9, 2012 - By Chip Ossman

The city of Pasadena has the winning ticket: the Rose Bowl. Should the NFL decide to place a team in the greater Los Angeles area, the Rose Bowl can be the team’s interim home while the permanent home stadium is built. The opportunity to host a National Football League team in the Rose Bowl on an interim basis — not to exceed five years and more likely two to four years — is simply too great a windfall income opportunity for Pasadena to ignore.

To accommodate an NFL season, the Pasadena City Council must raise the allowable number of large events at the Rose Bowl stadium from the current 12 per year to 25. An environmental impact study has been completed and the City Council is expected to vote on the matter on Nov. 19. For the NFL to consider Pasadena as an interim host, the City Council must approve the EIR and take other positive actions that night.

If and when the NFL does grant Los Angeles a professional football team, an existing franchise will be relocated to L.A. The NFL decision would likely be announced at the end of a football season, after the Super Bowl. There is a chance a team would need an interim home for the 2013 season. The greater L.A. area currently has two NFL stadium proposals well underway — downtown L.A. and the City of Industry. The Rose Bowl is not competing for the permanent home, and an NFL team could not locate in Pasadena permanently.

Having the NFL in the Rose Bowl for no more than five years, and more likely two to four years, will generate significant revenues for the city of Pasadena as well as the Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl will receive the income of the events directly. The city will receive sales tax, business income tax, business license taxes and payments from game revenues for support services including police and fire, as well as Pasadena Water & Power. The Rose Bowl will continue its hire-local program and encourage all vendors to offer these new jobs to Pasadena residents before, during, and after each game.

NFL games would be an economic boon at a time when our local economy is struggling. Experience elsewhere shows an economic impact in the millions of dollars per season. In addition to revenue at the stadium itself, NFL games in the Rose Bowl would add customers for retailers, hotels and restaurants. There will also be opportunities for local entrepreneurs within the stadium and in Pasadena to capitalize on sales opportunities to NFL fans. There will also be jobs generated at the Rose Bowl and in our community as a result of the NFL playing in our stadium.

Yes, Pasadena citizens once rejected a permanently located NFL team in the Rose Bowl — but this current situation is very different. There will be no alterations to the Rose Bowl to accommodate the NFL, and the NFL can only play there for a maximum of five years. For our current opportunity, our multimillion-dollar windfall, common sense and the facts show Pasadena can and should accept up to five years of an interim NFL location, as the extra, added Pasadena income and jobs just can’t be ignored.

Let’s not tear up that winning lottery ticket. Let’s cash it in and reap the benefits for Pasadena.

CHIP OSSMAN is the owner of Pasadena-based Ossman Project Management Consulting, Inc. providing construction management advice and support to the construction industry since 1997. He can be reached at [email protected].