Mar 1, 2012

Rose Bowl Legacy Campaign underwrites renovations to stadium - Laura Monteros - March 1, 2012

She doesn't look too bad for 90 years old, but the Grand Dame of college bowl stadiums is due for a bit more than a facelift. The Rose Bowl Legacy Campaign is raising funds to underwrite a $160 million renovation and expansion project to update the iconic Rose Bowl. (The original estimate of $152 million was upped in December, 2011 to $160 million.)

A National Historic Landmark since 1987, the Rose Bowl Stadium was built in 1921 to host the Rose Bowl Game, which was the first post-season college football competition. It was modeled after the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Conn. and finished in the fall of 1922.

The renovations will take a bit longer to complete than the original bowl, because the stadium continues to be a venue for football, concerts, and a R.G. Canning swap meet. Work started in 2011 after the 97th Rose Bowl Game (the 89th in the stadium) and will take three years to finish.

The Rose Bowl Legacy Campaign is sponsored by Legacy Connections, an organization of community leaders, which pledges to “ensure that the history and traditions of this National Historic Landmark will be preserved for future generations.” The fundraising goal is $25 million in private donations to add to support from the City of Pasadena, UCLA and the Tournament of Roses.

Improvements to the stadium listed on the Rose Bowl Renovation site include a new press box, new video board, wider tunnels, added aisles, elliptical field, restoration of historic field hedge, added concessions, and added restrooms.

The Legacy Campaign subscribes the City of Pasadena's “Pasadena First: Buy Local Mission” to promote the local economy by purchasing, contracting and hiring locally. According to the Parsons status report of December 2011/January 2012, 71 Pasadena residents have worked on the projects and earned $312,078 in wages. Local subcontracting came to $3,019,161 by the end of January, and the Rose Bowl Operating Committee reported $3,410,485 in local project expenditures.

Donations to help fund the efforts to renovate the home of “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the Rose Bowl Game, can be made on the Rose Bowl Legacy website.