LED lights among upgrades due at Rose Bowl
The Rose Bowl plans to install new LED lighting as it also explores adding a new scoreboard and engineering alternative seating configurations to draw more events in the crowded Los Angeles sports and concert market.
“It’s about staying competitive,” said Rose Bowl COO George Cunningham. The 90,888-seat iconic stadium, which opened in 1922, is owned by the city of Pasadena.
Cunningham estimates the LED lights will cost no more than $2 million. Initial bids were due May 23. The lights, to be paid for by the city, are scheduled to be installed by August 2019. ME Engineers Inc. is leading the design.
Cunningham said a request for proposals also could go out soon for a second new scoreboard; Daktronics installed the first one in 2011. In addition, the stadium is looking to improve security checkpoints and entry areas to provide a smoother flow.
While the LED and scoreboard plans advance, the Rose Bowl is looking at configurations to make the venue a better alternative for hosting smaller events. “We want to be able to think outside the box,” Cunningham said. That could involve incorporating temporary seating or taking other steps to make the venue more customizable, especially for concerts.
“We want to allow ourselves flexibility to be able to adapt to who is playing,” Cunningham said. “For example, one artist might have a crowd that will prefer to stand and dance, and another is more into sitting in their seats, and another might have seating with a table to have [food and beverage] service.”
The Rose Bowl went through a decade-long $183 million renovation that ended in 2016. Those improvements were paid for mostly via bonds sold by the city and contributions from UCLA and the Tournament of Roses, which puts on the college football bowl game and famous parade.
Cunningham said the Rose Bowl has a $30 million improvement list and the city has been spending $1 million to $3 million annually on repairs and renovations.
The Rose Bowl is home to its namesake college football bowl game and UCLA football. It also plays host to major soccer matches and stadium concert tours. Taylor Swift just performed two shows there, and the venue also hosted Mexico’s last tune-up match before the World Cup.
Competition for such events has heated up as several facility projects are now underway or recently wrapped up in the L.A. market.
A $4 billion stadium for the NFL’s Rams and Chargers is under construction and will host the Super Bowl in 2022, the college football national championship in 2023, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Summer Olympics. The $350 million Banc of California Stadium for Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles FC opened this year, and USC is in the midst of a $270 million renovation of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.