Aug 19, 2014

Rose Bowl, city officials to host meeting on $300,000 fund to preserve Central Arroyo

By Lauren Gold, Pasadena Star-News

PASADENA >> City officials announced Monday that a $300,000 fund has been established to pay for improvements to the Central Arroyo, made up of donations from concert promoter Live Nation and the Rose Bowl Operating Company.

The public is invited to a meeting at 9 a.m. Aug. 23 to give input to city and Rose Bowl representatives about how the money should be spent, according to notices sent out by Councilwoman Jacque Robinson and Councilman Steve Madison.

“The purpose of this meeting is to get input from residents who are most affected by events at the Rose bowl, as to which projects should receive funding,” the notice states.

Assistant City Manager Steve Mermell said there are already 12 projects that are either unfunded or partially funded in the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that will be on the list to receive the $300,000. He said the meeting is an effort to prioritize the projects based on resident input.

“The notion is that $300,000 when you are talking about capital projects is not a huge sum of money so we wanted to say OK how can we best use this money to get something done that is of value to the neighborhood around the Rose Bowl,” Mermell said. “And we would want people to see the tangible benefit of it pretty soon.”

After Saturday’s meeting, the proposal will go to the RBOC and the city council for final approval. The public will be permitted to give additional input at those meetings. Mermell said he hopes to have the final approval in September and begin the projects shortly thereafter.

The Rose Bowl will have hosted 18 events by the end of this year, including an unprecedented line-up of seven concerts in July, August and September, all through promoter Live Nation. Councilman Victor Gordo, president of the RBOC, said the stadium negotiated the deal when Live Nation added a second night for the JAY Z and Beyonce concert at the beginning of August. He said Live Nation contributed $200,00 and the RBOC contributed $100,000 to the fund.

“It’s a way to recognize that there are improvements that can and should be made in the Arroyo and the surrounding neighborhoods and if we can help to make those improvements and improve the neighborhoods we should take every opportunity to do so,” Gordo said. “It’s something we talked about with the neighbors ahead of time and people believed it was a good idea.”

Following this year’s packed line-up, which earned the stadium much-needed revenues after a costly renovation, stadium officials are currently studying the prospect of increasing the annual events at the Rose Bowl to up to 21. As the city ordinance now stands, any event above 12 in a year requires council approval. The city and RBOC are alsostudying a possible multi-day summer music festival to occur at the stadium and on the neighboring Brookside Golf Course that could begin as early as next summer.

The stadium has not determined which promoter will handle the music festival if it is approved.

Neighbors in the areas surrounding the stadium have long complained about traffic and noise coming from the Rose Bowl events. Many have opposed the idea of a music festival.

The council has discussed collaboration between the stakeholders in the Central Arroyo and the RBOC to reduce impacts and use Rose Bowl event revenues to preserve and improve the treasured natural resource.

The meeting will be from 9-10 a.m. Aug. 23 at the Terry Donahue Pavilion at the Rose Bowl. Enter through Gate F and go to Level D in the South Club Lounge. Parking can be found at the northernmost portion of Lot F.