SBD/Issue 163/Facilities & Venues

Every Rose Has Its Thorn: Pasadena Plan Would Up NFL's Ante

Rose Bowl Wants Eight
Super Bowls As Part Of Deal

Rose Bowl officials looking to land an NFL team "will ask the NFL to pay rent — even though the league would put up the money for the $500[M] project — and will seek a commitment of eight Super Bowls in 30 years," according to Sam Farmer of the L.A. TIMES, who noted a 13-page "vision statement" dated today was prepared by Pasadena City Manager Cynthia Kurtz for this week's owners meetings in Philadelphia. Moag & Co. Chair and Rose Bowl consultant John Moag: "The hardest part of this project has always been trying to get the community around something that made sense for them. This proposal makes a lot of sense." An expert source said that the proposal "was so heavily weighted in Pasadena's favor that it probably wouldn't appeal to NFL owners but appeared to be a jumping-off point for negotiations." Among the proposal's points: the city would continue to own the stadium with the Rose Bowl Operating Co. maintaining its oversight role; the NFL, in addition to paying rent, would also pay for all operations, maintenance, repairs and improvements for the term of the lease, "which would be at least 30 years"; the league would also "provide the city adequate revenues" to pay off existing Rose Bowl bonds "without using revenue from neighboring Brookside Golf Course." Moag: "The city needs to be assured that it's not saddled with that debt with no way to repay it" (L.A. TIMES, 5/17). In L.A., Billy Witz wrote "both the Rose Bowl and Coliseum, citing current economic and political climate, say their plans will not include public funds." Rose Bowl Tenant Search Committee Chair Bill Thomson: "I think there's been the recognition on the part of the league that the market is different in Southern California than in other places. This is not a time in the history of Southern California and probably the state where public money is going into the building of an athletic facility" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/18).

MOVING VANS? ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli noted Malcolm Glazer's potential purchase of the Dodgers and wrote, "Rumblings that he might attempt to wrangle a deal in which he also owns a football team in the nation's second-largest market have ceased. What should also desist are the rumors that [Vikings Owner] Red McCombs ... could pack the moving vans and head to the Left Coast." NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue told McCombs that he was "staying put, in part because of his tightly-written lease and in part because the league has its own designs for filling" the L.A. market. Pasquarelli: "The not-so-subtle message delivered to McCombs: There will eventually be a team in Los Angeles, but it won't be the Vikings" (ESPN.com, 5/16). In Indianapolis, Bob Kravitz, on the possibility of the Colts moving to L.A.: "The good news is, there hasn't been any public haggling or posturing or politicking. Since the start the tone from both sides has been strikingly civil. The Colts haven't made any overt threats, although it's fair to say it's implied. And Mayor Bart Peterson's office has not let the talks become a front-page issue. The bad news is, there hasn't been any good news" (INDY STAR, 5/18). In San Diego, Tim Sullivan wrote, "Today, Los Angeles is a vague threat to Chargers fans. Tomorrow, it could be a clear and present danger." While "it is unlikely that the NFL owners will endorse any specific site" this week, "any progress in L.A. is problematical for San Diego." Sullivan: "If I'm [Chargers Owner] Dean Spanos ... I'm studying the local landscape with one foot out the door. Much as I might prefer to stay put, I wouldn't want to forsake the L.A. option while waiting for San Diego to settle [its legal issues]." Among possible NFL teams to relocate, the Chargers have "the earliest escape clause" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 5/18).

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