SBD/Issue 76/Facilities & Venues

Rose Bowl Officials Finalizing Plans For $164M Renovation

Proposed Renovation Of Rose Bowl Could 
Boost Suite Capacity From 600 to 2,500
Rose Bowl officials after Thursday’s BCS National Championship game will begin “completing plans and applying for bonds for a $164[M] renovation of the stadium,” according to Billy Witz of the N.Y. TIMES. The project, which would begin next January, “would be competed four years from now -- in time for the 100th Rose Bowl game and the return of the BCS title game.” The deadline to apply for federal stimulus funds, which the Rose Bowl “would be eligible for, is Dec. 31, 2010.” The city of Pasadena owns the stadium, and City Manager Michael Beck said, “The window of opportunity to make this work, really, is today. Two years ago, we couldn’t afford to do it. Two years from now, interest rates will be higher and construction costs are likely to be higher.” Witz reported Orioles VP/Planning & Development Janet Marie Smith developed a plan for the stadium that calls "for turning the clock back as well as forward." The scoreboard at the south end of the stadium "will be replaced by a 1940s replica, and at the north end, much of the signage will be stripped away and replaced by a high-definition video board." The bottom 10 rows "will be ripped out along the sidelines and replaced by the hedges that once enveloped the field." Aisles "will be added and tunnels widened, allowing for easier access," and concession areas "will be reconfigured to be more efficient." Perhaps the "most critical part of the renovation is the overhaul of the press box, which houses suites." It "would extend farther from the stadium, increasing the suite capacity from 600 to 2,500." According to preliminary estimates, "those suites, and other premium seating, would help generate $100[M] to pay off the bonds." Other revenue streams are "expected to come from advertising around the stadium and selective major events." There also will be an "effort to solicit philanthropic donors." Rose Bowl GM Darryl Dunn said, “The funding is the biggest challenge, no question about it. But what we’re doing is modest and incremental. The day you stop reinvesting is the day you start to lose it” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/1).

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