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Rose Bowl

Aerial View

  Venue Resources  
Address 1001 Rose Bowl Drive
Pasadena, CA 91103
Phone (626) 577-3101
Official Website
Seating Weather
Newspaper
Satellite View
Bruins Gear
  Calendar / Tickets  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Pasadena

  The Facility  
Date Opened October 8, 1922,
Ownership
(Management)
City of Pasadena
(Rose Bowl Operating Company)
Surface Grass
Cost of Construction $272,198
Stadium Architect Myron Hunt
Capacity 91,136
Luxury Suites Unknown
Club Seats None
  Other Facts  
Tenants Rose Bowl Game
(1923-1941)
(1943-Present)
UCLA Bruins
(NCAA) (1982-Present)
Former Tenants Los Angeles Aztecs
(NASL) (1978-1979)
Los Angeles Galaxy
(MLS) (1996-2002)
Los Angeles Wolves
(NASL) (1968)
Population Base 10,000,000
On Site Parking 20,000
Nearest Airport Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (BUR)
Retired Numbers #5 Kenny Easley
#13 Kenny Washington
#16 Gary Beban
#34 Paul Cameron
#38 Burr Baldwin
#79 Jonathan Ogden
#80 Donn Moomaw
#84 Jerry Robinson

Championships 1st
1954


Sources: Mediaventures

Even Rose gives way to winds of change
After '98 edition, oldest bowl bows to will of Alliance

By Richard Rosenblatt -(AP) December 28, 1997

PASADENA - Even now, nearly 30 years after attending his first Rose Bowl as a member of the Tournament of Roses staff, Jack French's voice is shaky when he recalls the experience.

"Seeing that stadium filled, the mass of colors and the spirit and the sounds and the noise and the fan unity . . . I was overwhelmed," said French, now the CEO of the 935-member group that runs the Rose Bowl. "I don't even remember the teams, but that feeling renews itself every year. I can't help but swell up with emotion whenever I talk about it. It can bring a tear to my eye."

The Rose Bowl does that to people, has since 1902, when the first one was played at 1,000-seat Tournament Park and drew a mob of 8,500 as Michigan routed Stanford, 49-0. On Thursday, No. 1 Michigan plays No. 8 Washington State in the 84th edition.

The oldest bowl game has also been the most traditional. With its pristine setting amid the San Gabriel Mountains and spectacular Tournament of Roses parade, no other game has been able to sustain the pageantry, passion and TV ratings points that go along with being the "Granddaddy of Them All".

Through the years, the more the college football landscape changed, the more the Rose Bowl was determined to stay the same. Same day (January 1st except if New Year's Day falls on a Sunday); same time (2:00 pm PST); same format since 1946 (Big Ten Champ vs. Pac-10 Champ) and same name - the Rose Bowl.

But even the Rose Bowl couldn't hold onto tradition forever. The new college football powers - ABC and the Bowl Alliance - made certain of that.

Whether Michigan wins it first national title since 1948, or Washington State pulls an upset in its first trip to Pasadena in 67 years Thursday, the Rose Bowl will never be the same.

Tampering with tradition
Beginning with the 1999 game, the Rose becomes part of the new super-Alliance, which works like this for the Rose: It gets the national title game in 2002, but played the night of January 3. In the other years of the seven-year deal, if the Big Ten or Pac-10 champion is ranked either No. 1 or No. 2, it would play in the top Alliance game, either the Orange, Sugar or Fiesta bowls.

"We did not believe the bowl system could stay unchanged," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney said. "So the Rose Bowl tradition will exist in a modified way, and we traded off for a healthier bowl system and access to play in a 1-vs.-2 bowl game. Not everyone is happy with it, but we think it's the best for us and for college football."

By joining the Alliance, the Rose Bowl loses its lock on the Big Ten and Pac-10 champions; won't always be played in daylight or on January 1; and, believe it or not, could end up with a corporate sponsor attached to its name as early as the '99 game.

But the sponsor's name won't precede Rose Bowl.

"It will be, 'The Rose Bowl,' presented by so-and-so,' " French said. "ABC has the right to have a presenting sponsor during the term of the agreement, but it won't be something like the 'so-and-so Rose Bowl.' We need to preserve that."

Tom Hansen, the Pac-10 commissioner, isn't a big fan of the changes but hopes the new approach works out.

"This is probably the best thing for the Rose, Big Ten and the Pac-10 in the long run because we are all opposed to a playoff system," Hansen said. "And we want to make the new Alliance as effective and widely accepted as possible, but at the same time we realize we are jeopardizing a wonderful tradition."

For the first time since the 1979 season, the Rose Bowl will feature the No. 1 team, and if the Wolverines win, the game will produce its first AP national champion since USC won the title in 1972.

"It'll be a nice way to end an era," French said.

Inauspicious beginnings
And what an era it's been.

After the first Rose Bowl, considered a failure because of an unruly crowd, the game was canceled and replaced with chariot races, ostrich races and even an elephant vs. camel race (the elephant won).

The game started up again in 1916, with Washington State beating Brown, 14-0. Until 1935, the Tournament of Roses invited a West Coast team, which in turn selected an Eastern opponent.

Then, the Pacific Coast Conference (now the Pac-10) chose one of its own teams to play and also selected an opponent until 1946, when the current pact was signed.

Among the more memorable Rose Bowls:
* Notre Dame's Four Horsemen vs. Stanford and Ernie Nevers (Knute Rockne's Irish beat Pop Warner's team, 27-10, in 1925).
* The wrong-way fumble return by Cal's Roy Riegels that led to a Georgia Tech safety and 8-7 win over the Bears in 1929.
* Wisconsin's near-miracle comeback led by Ron Vander Kelen in USC's national title-clinching 42-37 win in the '63 game.
* Tailback Charles White's record 247 yards in USC's 17-16 win over Ohio State in '80.
* USC 17, Michigan 10 in '90, Bo Schembechler's final game as coach of the Wolverines.
* Northwestern's first Rose Bowl in 47 years in '96, a 41-32 loss to USC.
* Last season's last-minute 20-17 win by Ohio State, which ended Arizona State's national title hopes.

If the new system were in place this season, No. 1 Michigan would be playing No. 2 Nebraska in the Orange Bowl on Friday night, and Washington State would still be in Pasadena against another Alliance team.

"If you love the Rose Bowl, you couldn't sit still with the political winds, the financial winds and the public's desire, and not change," Delaney said. "You couldn't expect the Rose Bowl tradition to be there in 10 to 15 years."

Even though it will have a new look, former Purdue running back Leroy Keyes, who played in the '67 Rose Bowl, says the Rose with any other team is still the Rose.

"I don't think the glitter will diminish at all," Keyes said. "I still believe that all of the people who have participated in the game from the Big Ten and Pac-10 will always look at that as being their bowl game, the Big Ten and the Pac-10 game."

RESIDENTS SEEK RESTRICTIONS ON ROSE BOWL AIR TRAFFIC
July 15, 1999
Copyright 1999 Mediaventures

Blimps and small aircraft flying over the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA are causing enough problems that local officials are asking the FAA to limit air traffic over the venue. The stadium is in a canyon between two residential neighborhoods and increased traffic in the limited air space increases the noise level. Residents are also concerned that a mid-air accident could send aircraft careening into homes. Local aerial advertising companies say as many as two dozen aircraft have been over the stadium in recent years.

The FAA says it will review the issue. The agency is already looking into policies concerning handling of air traffic above sporting events.

Noticeably, there was no problem during last weekend's final match of the Women's World Cup. The US Secret Service banned air traffic over the venue because of the possibility that the President or First Lady might attend.

Western Waterproofing Stand-out Player on Rose Bowl Restoration team
Reprinted with Permission from The Western Group's September, 1998 Weathervane Newsletter

Each New Year's Day, the eyes of football fans worldwide focus on a single point in Pasadena, California. There is only one Rose Bowl Game. And there is only one Rose Bowl. Since 1916 , when it hosted the second-ever Rose Bowl title match, the stadium has reigned as site superb.

The lure of the legendary field is even stronger for those who have grown up in Southern California. One of them is Dirk Wietstock, Los Angeles branch manager for Western Waterproofing, a member of The Western Group. For Wietstock and fellow Western workers, the chance to play a part in the Rose Bowl restoration in 1998 has been a dream come true.

Rose Bowl
"When you do what we do, having the chance to help restore such a special place is about as neat an opportunity as you can have," Wietstock begins. "Couple that with the fact that this one is hitting all our target numbers, and you have a great job . . . one for which Western is singularly suited."

The Rose Bowl Operating Company (RBOC) is managing this $22.5 million bond-issue project on behalf of The City of Pasadena. The consulting firm of William R. Dorman & Associates, Inc., acts as construction manager, reviewing and securing contractors on behalf of the RBOC. Wheeler & Gray, Inc., provides structural engineering expertise.

To date, more than 40 separate contracts have been let on the Rose Bowl project. Western was awarded the contract as the lowest responsive and responsible bidder for restoration of the concrete deck surfaces.

"The RBOC has chosen to define the scope of work very closely for all contractors," Wietstock continues. "This allows us to focus completely on what we at Western are best at . . . and what we've been doing for decades. Our task involves removal, storage and replacement of bench seating in the stadium's north section and demolition of old seating in the east and west areas. We're also repairing concrete and applying a cementitious overlay in three of the stadium's four sections. We're using SIKA products almost exclusively for this. The SIKA 2C polyurethane joint sealant is a two-component urethane that cures quickly. We've also used SIKAdur 35 epoxy for spall repair and SIKAtop 122, which has a lot of leveling capability. Needless to say, we've relied heavily on SIKA for technical advice. They've been super."

"Some demolition was required early on to remove and dispose of old seats, but most of our work has been in the rehab of the seating area. We've had 45 people on the job working 10-hour days, six days a week. Once we're through, we turn the area over to the seating contractor."

Close interaction and communication among contractors is critical if the ultimate deadline for the project is to be met. And that date is certain, states Steve Berg, project manager for William R. Dorman & Associates, Inc: September 12, 1998. UCLA versus Texas.

"If this were a stadium where only football was played, we'd have had an easier time of scheduling," Berg says, "But we've had to arrange and rearrange work around the Galaxy (pro soccer team) season, flea markets and rock concerts. A number of times we've had to slow up Western to accommodate events, and they've never complained. It's been a real pleasure to work with them. Having been in the business for more than 20 years, I know what a difference a quality-oriented company like Western can make. And they have made a difference."

Western's Wietstock has parallel praise for the Dorman team. "They've been incredibly responsive to our requests for clarification. Many technical aspects of this projects are not our call, and they've been great in assisting us there."

The current restoration is but one of many in Rose Bowl history. In the 1930s, the initial wooden decks were used to form existing concrete ones. In 1930, the stadium's original horseshoe shape came full circle. And each decade since has seen some improvement.

But for the people now working in preparation for this fall's football season, no restoration will be more significant than the one of '98.

For they were part of the team that made it happen.

August 12, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

The City of Pasadena has approved $25,000 to determine the potential for selling naming rights to the Rose Bowl stadium. While many local residents are opposed to changing the name of the historic venue, city officials say they have a responsibility to consider all revenue sources for the public property.

ROSE BOWL SOCCER CAPACITY TO BE REDUCED
September 2, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures

The MLS Los Angeles Galaxy will reduce the capacity of the Rose Bowl from 96,000 to 35,000 next year. The goal is to make the venue smaller and more intimate and avoid the huge numbers of empty seats. The team draws an average of 17,156 persons per match.

The Galaxy is also considering building a new 30,000-seat soccer stadium somewhere in the area where it hopes to play by 2002.

#20 Rose Bowl
CNN/SI - Century's Best
SI's Top 20 Venues of the 20th Century - June 3, 1999
The Rose Bowl is more a postcard than a stadium, designed to seduce pasty Midwesterners with the California fantasy. How many Big Ten fans tuned in on those wintry New Year's Days to gawk at the blooming bougainvillea and started packing their station wagons at halftime?

ROSE BOWL MAY RETURN AS NFL OPTION
April 6, 2006
Copyright 2006 MediaVentures

A Pasadena City Council member has submitted petitions to force a public vote on whether the Rose Bowl should be reconsidered as a possible site for a new NFL team in the Los Angeles area. Los Angeles County officials are reviewing the petitions to determine if they have enough valid signatures.

The Pasadena City Council will also consider whether to schedule an election, ask its staff to study the issue or restart the city's effort to land the franchise.

Last June, council members said they were not likely to support a plan to renovate the Rose Bowl because of neighborhood opposition. They then asked building managers to work with the University of California-Los Angeles on a new plan that can preserve the venue. No funding was set. The action effectively stopped the city's bid for an NFL team and left the league to work with Anaheim, which has a potential site, and the Los Angeles Coliseum. NFL officials said they would listen to Pasadena officials if they were again interested, but observers say the NFL is too far along in its planning for the Rose Bowl to be reconsidered.

The Rose Bowl loses $2 million a year and is subsidized by the Brookside Golf Course. Some of that loss comes from paying for previous improvements to the stadium made in 1991 and 1996.

The $500 million Rose Bowl renovation plan was touted as a preservation project, intended to keep the historic flavor of the venue while reducing its size from 92,000 to 64,000 seats. The initial plans called for moving the stadium below grade, doubling the interior space, with an underground concourse to serve club seats. A total of 140 luxury suites were planned, leasing for up to $300,000 per year.

Supporters said no public money would be used with the league receiving all game-day revenue, plus some revenue from other events such as the annual Rose Bowl college game. Naming rights would be available, but only for the field. Seat licenses and a 10% ticket tax would generate more revenue. A tax break, equal to 20% of the construction cost, would come from preserving the venue's status on the list of National Historic Landmarks.

The reconstruction would take 23 months. The work would force relocation of the Rose Bowl game and all University of California - Los Angeles games during construction.

NFL MAY HEAR ROSE BOWL PLAN
April 13, 2006
Copyright 2006 MediaVentures

NFL officials may hear a new appeal from Rose Bowl supporters about locating a new or relocated franchise in the historic venue. League officials said no decision has been made about whether a new presentation will be heard during meetings May 2.

Petitions have been submitted to county officials to force a public vote on whether the Rose Bowl should be reconsidered. Los Angeles County officials are reviewing the petitions to determine if they have enough valid signatures.

Last June, Pasadena city council members said they were not likely to support a plan to renovate the Rose Bowl because of neighborhood opposition. They then asked building managers to work with the University of California-Los Angeles on a new plan that can preserve the venue. The action effectively stopped the city's bid for an NFL team and left the league to work with Anaheim, which has a potential site, and the Los Angeles Coliseum.

NFL officials will decide if the revival plan has enough merit to warrant reopening the process.

ROSE BOWL MAKING PLANS FOR UPGRADES
January 7, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - A soft economy and lower construction prices are leading Rose Bowl officials to consider a $164 million stadium upgrade. The question of what to do with the Rose Bowl is one that stadium officials have been grappling with for 10 years. The city was concerned that if the NFL. built a new stadium in Los Angeles, the Rose Bowl could lose its main tenant, UCLA.

That motivated Pasadena officials in 2003 to pursue a deal with the NFL in which the league would pay for a $500 million renovation of the stadium in exchange for being allowed to operate it. But the proposal bitterly divided the community. Residents who lived in the historic homes that surrounded the Arroyo Seco, the narrow canyon in which the bowl sits, were adamantly opposed to bringing NFL crowds into their neighborhood. Preservationists said the changes the NFL wanted would alter the stadium's character and jeopardize its status as a National Historic Landmark.

In the wake of that controversy, the City Council gave $1 million to the Rose Bowl Operating Company to explore other options.

The task led them to Janet Marie Smith, who as the Boston Red Sox' vice president for planning and development oversaw the improvements that were made at Fenway after the team was sold in 2002 to John Henry, one of the few prospective owners who did not want a new ballpark for the team. They met and soon Smith and her team were in Pasadena as consultants, researching the Rose Bowl, interviewing community leaders and studying the possibilities.

The plan that Smith developed called for more modest improvements and, in keeping with the rest of the neighborhood, 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, with notoriously poor views, 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 the concessions, which ring the building, will be reconfigured to be more efficient and redesigned to reflect the Craftsman-style of the neighborhood.

Perhaps the most critical part of the renovation is the overhaul of the press box, which houses suites. Its height would not change, pleasing the preservationists, but it would extend farther from the stadium, increasing the suite capacity from 600 to 2,500. Those suites, and other premium seating, would help generate $100 million to pay off the bonds, according to preliminary estimates. Other revenue streams are expected to come from advertising around the stadium and selective

major events, like a U2 concert earlier this year. There will also be an effort to solicit philanthropic donors, though there remains uncertainty over how much that would generate.

The Tournament of Roses and UCLA have been supportive, but are also wary that their concerns are met. UCLA agreed to a 20-year lease after receiving assurances that the locker rooms would be renovated, which they were in 2007, quadrupling to 12,000 square feet. About $43 million remains on bonds from that renovation and earlier projects.

In the next two months the numbers will have to be crunched to make sure they all add up.

STUDY OF ROSE BOWL TICKET PRICES RELEASED
March 18, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - A study of how much fans would pay to watch football at the Rose Bowl has been released and has shown that there would be sufficient revenue to pay for a proposed $170 million renovation.

The survey set a high, medium, and low price for each item, ranging from $1,000-a-game premium seats to luxury suites that could cost as much as $85,000 a year.

As would be expected, the lower prices resulted in much higher levels of fan interest, and the firm that prepared the report generally recommended offering prices in low to medium range.

That would be more than enough to justify the estimated $170 million price tag for renovation, said Councilman Victor Gordo, who sits on the Rose Bowl Operating Company board.

"The numbers are very promising," said Gordo. "It's an aggressive plan, but I think it is justified."

City officials are hoping to start the renovation in January, following the Rose Bowl Game. The construction would be financed by a bond issue, which could be accomplished through federal bonds being offered through the stimulus.

The survey was taken of 3,000 fans, mostly supporters of University of California - Berkeley football.

The renovation plan calls for constructing wider luxury suites to accommodate extra seating, which are essential to the Rose Bowl's financial plans.

A large segment of the stadium's revenue comes from 600 expensive seats in the luxury suite area. The new plan will expand the number of those seats to 3,000, resulting in additional annual revenue of $5 million.

The proposal also will deal with problems of overcrowding and long lines to enter the stadium. Originally, the plan was to widen tunnels into the stadium to fix the problem, but the new plan avoids that costly change.

Instead, fans sitting nearest to the field in the bottom rows will file onto the field and exit through existing tunnels now used only by players.

Making room on the field will require removing a few rows of seats. A few other rows of seats would be removed in order to install new staircases.

Those changes will reduce seating capacity from 92,000 to 89,000. Even so, the Rose Bowl would remain as one of the highest-capacity stadiums in the country.

ROSE BOWL RENOVATION PLAN APPROVED
May 27, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. The Pasadena City Council has approved a $170 million renovation plan for the Rose Bowl. The issue has several other approvals ahead of it, including financing, before work can begin.

Though the project would be financed by federal stimulus bonds and would not require up-front investment, the price tag of the renovation looms large as the city faces a $5.7 million deficit next year and officials do not foresee balancing the budget until 2014.

But officials, along with the business community, have been quick to point out that the stadium is an essential part of the city's fiscal future.

The Rose Bowl, along with the Tournament of Roses, bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy, said Paul Little, president of the local Chamber of Commerce. At some point you have to reinvest in your economic engine.

The action means the city has approved design changes made to the Rose Bowl renovation plan since it first approved the project design in 2008.

Officials aim to bring the project back to the Council in September to approve financing for the project. The project will also be looked at by the city's Design Commission and a city hearing officer.

The $170 million renovation plan calls for constructing wider luxury suites to accommodate extra seating, which will be a large part of stadium officials' plan to bring in more revenue in the future.

A large segment of the stadium's current revenue comes from 600 expensive seats in the luxury box area.

The new plan will expand the number of those seats to 3,000, resulting in additional annual revenue of an estimated $5 million.

In June, the Council will look at an additional study meant to check those projections and ensure they are correct.

The new design features would mean the average fan would be able to exit the stadium after a game in 14 minutes instead of the current time of 29 minutes, according to stadium officials.

There will also be a new museum, gift shop, and a newly-renovated area for food vendors designed to cut back on waiting times.

By limiting the number of tunnels to be renovated and scaling back other construction, the cost of the project has also been revised downwards. Originally, the city was considering a $200 million to $300 million project.

The goal is to start construction by January 2011, after the annual Rose Bowl game.

The city has already invested in the project, authorizing $4.1 million from a Rose Bowl reserve fund to go toward design work.

NEW ROSE BOWL RENOVATION PLAN REVEALED
September 30, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - City and stadium officials unveiled details of a $152 million plan to renovate the historic Rose Bowl and turn it into a profit-making venture, according to the Pasadena Star News.

The three-year plan, which could create 1,000 jobs, hinges on the agreement of stadium tenants UCLA and the Tournament of Roses to sign 30-year leases in the coming days. UCLA's current lease is due to expire in 2023, the Bowl's in 2019.

The renovation plan would expand the press box to increase the number of premium seats - including luxury suites - from about 500 to 2,500. It also would widen 12 access tunnels, double the number of concession stands and improve and expand restrooms, the newspaper reported.

Historically low interest rates and a competitive bidding climate make the time ripe for a deal, City Manager Michael Beck told the Star News.

"The project was not affordable two years ago and won't be affordable two years from now when the bidding environment gets less competitive and interest rates climb," Beck said. "We will price ourselves out of an opportunity to renovate the stadium."

About $128 million of the $152 million plan would be financed through bonds, largely federal stimulus bonds that have to be issued by Dec. 31, Beck said.

Beck hopes to issue the bonds by Nov. 30. Construction would begin on Jan. 11. The entire renovation is expected to be complete by January 2014, in time for the Rose Bowl's 100th game and quadrennial return of the Bowl Championship Series championship game. But because the project would be done in three phases, there would be no interruption of UCLA or Rose Bowl games, it was reported.

The Build America Bonds provide a 35 percent interest rebate to government agencies, and make up between $10 million and $15 million in additional bond proceeds, Beck said.

Another $15 million would be financed through cash contributions from the city, including $6 million in combined profits for the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl Operating Company from the 2010 Bowl Championship Series title game, a rebate of about $2 million in city construction taxes and surplus RBOC funds, Beck said.

The remaining $9 million could be financed in a variety of ways, including favorable construction bids, revenue from the 2014 BCS title game and private donations from a newly established philanthropic organization called Rose Bowl Legacy, Beck said.

The combination of bonds, which will mature in 2043, would have a blended interest rate of 4.8 percent.

The money-making portion of the plan would only have to provide 72 percent of its projected income to pay off the new bond debts, Rose Bowl CEO/General Manager Darryl Dunn told the Star News.

"(The Rose Bowl) is as significant a sports facility as there is in the world," said Dunn, who said the plan would ensure the long-term viability of the historic stadium.

Mayor Bill Bogaard and Councilman Victor Gordo each believe the City Council will approve the finance plan on Oct. 11, according to the newspaper.

"Once we had a financing strategy and a peer review of that financing strategy, that was a real turning point and people started becoming more comfortable," said Gordo, who is the president of the Rose Bowl Operating Company.

The 72 percent break-even point also helped ease concerns, Gordo said.

The Rose Bowl usually loses between $1 million and $2 million a year due to capital improvements invested into the stadium over the years, Dunn said. Those losses, however, are made up by revenues generated by Brookside Golf Course, which is also operated by the RBOC, he told the Star News.

In 2009, for example, the Rose Bowl was $1.2 million in the red in terms of operating revenues, while the golf course made $1.6 million. Thus, the RBOC came out ahead by about $400,000.

But this past fiscal year, one of the stadium's more extraordinary years, the Rose Bowl came out about $1.1 million ahead while the golf course gained nearly $1.3 million. Thus, the RBOC gained a total of about $2.4 million, according to figures provided by Dunn.

The stadium first started losing money in 1996 when about $22 million in improvements were made, Dunn said.

PASADENA APPROVES ROSE BOWL PLAN
October 14, 2010
Copyright 2010 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - Years of work to come up with a plan to renovate the 88-year-old Rose Bowl paid off this week with approval from the Pasadena City Council for a $152 million makeover. The Rose Bowl Operating Co. also won 30-year lease extensions from the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Tournament of Roses, according to the Pasadena Star News.

The $152 million renovation would expand the press box to increase the number of premium seats from about 550 to 2,500. It would also widen up to 12 access tunnels at the end zones, double the number of concession stands and increase restrooms.

Safety improvements are expected to reduce exit time from about 30 minutes to 17.

Nearly $129.5 million of the proposal would be financed by proceeds from city-issued bonds, including from federal stimulus bonds available through Dec. 31. An additional $15 million would be paid for with cash from the city and Tournament of Roses, including $6 million from Tournament and Rose Bowl Operating Co. (RBOC) profits from past Bowl Championship Series title games.

The remaining $7.5 million could be financed in a variety of ways, including favorable construction bids, revenue from the 2014 BCS title game, additional bond proceeds and philanthropic efforts, the newspaper said.

If enough funds do not materialize to plug the $7.5 million gap, staff would return to the council with recommendations to reduce the project's scope rather than burdening the General Fund, according to city documents.

The latter commitment was added after Councilman Terry Tornek voiced concerns about filling that gap.

"They've been responsive to my primary concern and I think this is a well constructed plan", Tornek told the Star News before the meeting.

The city's General Fund is ultimately responsible for the debt service but the project is expected to generate enough revenue to cover the debt service 1.475 times, according to the plan. The plan's approval also allows 1 percent of the construction project's value to go toward restoration rather than a new piece of art.

Last week, the city's Arts and Culture Commission voted 7-0 against invoking the conservation clause of the city's Public Art Program guidelines, fearing an opportunity to create new iconic public art at the stadium would be missed.

About $945,000 in public art funds could go toward restoring the stadium's 1928 Arroyo stone wall, preservation of the original 1928 locker rooms and improvements to the 1936 Myron Hunt administration building, according to city documents.

Construction would begin on Jan. 11. The entire renovation is expected to be complete by January 2014, in time for the 100th Rose Bowl Game and return of the Bowl Championship Series championship game. Because the project would be done in three phases, there would be no interruption of UCLA or Rose Bowl games.

SIZE OF ROSE BOWL RENOVATION GAP RISES
December 23, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - The Pasadena Star News says the $152 million Rose Bowl renovation now faces a funding gap of $12 million - nearly $4 million more than expected, city officials said. The shortage comes from the complicated sale of city-issued bonds on Wall Street last month, City Councilman Victor Gordo told the newspaper. The sale should have netted the city $129.8 million but only brought in $125.6 million, City Finance Director Andy Green said.

Even though the additional shortfall won't affect plans to begin the historic stadium's renovation in January, it will force officials to re-examine fundraising efforts.

"Ultimately, it makes a complicated project even a little more challenging to be able to deliver within the budget parameters that we've established," City Manager Michael Beck told the Star News. "But we'll figure out how to do that."

Bond market interest rates surged in mid-November after the Federal Reserve rolled out a quantitative easing plan to pump more money into the financial system that caused inflationary concerns and after an influx of bonds saturated the market, Beck said.

The pricing of the bonds was set on Nov. 16-17 after the large jump in interest rates. The city sold $156 million in bonds on Nov 23.

Had the city waited to act until last week, the shortfall would have reached $7 million rather than $4.5 million, Green said.

The bonds could not have been issued sooner, Beck said, because agreements were still being executed with the renovation partners and officials were waiting for a bond rating from Standard & Poor's.

Officials are now looking at ways to save money by modifying, postponing or even eliminating elements of the renovation project, Beck said. The renovation design team should have a good idea of where the savings will originate by Jan. 1, he said.

Although the city has the ability to draw money from the Department of Water and Power's bank account - which has more than $400million in cash and equity - Green said officials are reluctant to do so.

But the shortfall could be plugged with revenues generated from the 2014 Bowl Championship Series Game, competitive construction bids and fundraising efforts by a new philanthropic organization called Legacy Connections that aims to raise $25 million for the renovation, officials said.

Additional interest earnings made on the bond proceeds also could be used, Beck said.

The $152 million renovation will expand the stadium's press box to increase the number of premium seats from about 550 to 2,500. It will also widen up to 12 access tunnels, double the number of concession stands and increase the number of restrooms, the newspaper said.

ROSE BOWL PREMIUM SEAT SALES MOVING FORWARD
April 7, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - The Legends Premium Sales team, which started selling premium seats in the renovated Rose Bowl in November, has already sold 20 out of 55 new luxury suites, which will be available for use in 2013, the Pasadena Star News reported.

The team is charged with generating half the revenue needed to pay for the $152 million project. The Rose Bowl renovation continues to face a $12 million financing gap.

Company officials admit that selling the rest of the high-end seating - which will also include new loge boxes and club seating may not be easy.

Indeed, the team is charged with generating 10 times more in annual sales revenue from the Rose Bowl's renovated press box than premium seating makes there today.

"There's only one Rose Bowl," Jason Gonella, Legends' vice president of sales, told the Star News. "At the same time, it's still a 10-fold increase in revenue, which anybody in the business will tell you is a Herculean effort in this economy."

The sales team, which will soon expand from 3 to 5 people, is now putting the finishing touches on a new $100,000 marketing center to help them do just that.

Seats begin at $6,000, while suites sell for up to $125,000. Club seat pricing has not been set. The 20 new suites sold so far have been sold to existing suite holders. Nearly all have been for 10-year contracts, Peterson said.

Even though people are paying a "fairly substantial increase" for the new products, price "hasn't come up as an objection," Gonella said.

In addition to offering 55 suites that are at least double the size of existing ones, the renovated stadium will offer 1,300 club seats and 48 four-seat loge boxes for the first time, Peterson said. This means that clients who want premium seating can buy as few as two seats for the first time, rather than buying an entire suite for 12 or 14 people, he said.

The average cost of the new suites, which will seat between 16 and 24 fans, will average $80,000 to $85,000 and go up to $125,000 for the most expensive suites, Peterson said. Existing suites cost about $60,000 per year.

The new loge boxes will go for about $6,000 per seat or $24,000 per box per year, Peterson said.

ROSE BOWL RENOVATION FUND HAS $14 MILLION GAP
July 21, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - The Rose Bowl's $152 million renovation project faces a $2.2 million shortfall after construction bids exceeded estimates, bringing the total financing gap to about $14 million, the Whittier Daily News reported.

While bids for three recent bid packages came in within budget, two others involving steel and demolition work for the soon-to-be widened press box came in significantly over-budget, the newspaper said.

"It's disappointing but there isn't a lot we can do about it," Paul Little, vice president of the Rose Bowl Operating Company, told the newspaper at a special meeting of the RBOC board.

"Unfortunately, the costs are somewhat volatile and that's one of the things that we have to cope with. We're going to be looking closely, as the project moves forward, how we can make that up or where else the savings might come from."

Although the project team's estimates had accurately predicted the rising cost of steel, it did not receive as many bids as expected, said Margo Mavridis, RBOC stadium architect.

In addition, the complexity of demolition and steel erection costs for the new press box were underestimated, officials said.

"As the design unfolds, if there are opportunities to do value engineering, we will look at it very hard to save some costs," Rose Bowl CEO and General Manager Darryl Dunn said. "On the design side and project management side, we'll continue to look at any revenue opportunities. Obviously, Legacy is the most prominent one."

The Rose Bowl Legacy campaign - which aims to raise $25 million for the renovation - has raised more than $3 million in private donations so far, the newspaper said.

Stadium officials, along with tenants UCLA and the Tournament of Roses, could also consider delaying some elements of the project, if needed, Dunn said.

The three-year renovation project includes tripling the number of premium seats in the press box which officials say should help pay for the improvements doubling the number of concession areas, increasing the number of restrooms and reducing the stadium's exit time.

Since work started in January, a new video board more than double the size of the previous one has been erected on the stadium's north rim. Four tunnels also have been widened behind the south end Court of Champions, and several new aisles have been added to the south end.

A new south scoreboard, which recalls the stadium's 1940s vintage scoreboard, has also been erected and is now being tested, according to the Daily News.

Funding for the renovation is primarily coming from proceeds from bonds issued by the city, in addition to cash from the city, the Tournament of Roses and UCLA.

October 20, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Pasadena officials moved closer to inviting an NFL team to use the Rose Bowl as a temporary home by commissioning a traffic study in the Arroyo. When complete, the study will give Pasadena a clear idea of how the roads in and around the area handle traffic loads on game days, Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck told the Pasadena Star News. Both Industry's Grand Crossing project, touted by billionaire developer Ed Roski Jr., of Majestic Realty, and entertainment giant AEG's proposed Farmer's Field in downtown Los Angeles are in the running to bring the NFL back to the region after a 16-year absence. But, both stadiums will take years to build and any team that moves to the area will need a place to play, Rose Bowl Operating Co. General Manager Darryl Dunn told the newspaper.

December 1, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Pasadena would conduct a new environmental report and analysis should it decide to pave the way for the Rose Bowl to temporarily host an NFL team, city and stadium officials told the Pasadena Star News. City Manager Michael Beck said that if city officials proceed, they would conduct a new Environmental Impact Report (EIR) rather than a less extensive environmental review for council to consider increasing the number of large annual events at the stadium. The council would have to increase the number of "displacement" events of 20,000 more a year to allow the NFL to use the stadium temporarily. Currently, only 12 such events are allowed a year. The decision was made, Beck said, after a traffic study and analysis around the stadium is nearly complete. Beck said the city would conduct the EIR only if they have were confident that a team was available to relocate to Los Angeles, if there was a real revenue opportunity for both the stadium and the city and it was determined how the document would be paid for. A new EIR would probably cost between $200,000 and $300,000, Beck said.

ROSE BOWL WORK GOES $20 MILLION OVER BUDGET
December 15, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - A renovation project at the Rose Bowl has gone $20 million over budget since construction started earlier this year, the Pasadena Star News reported.

Rose Bowl officials said costs have risen largely because bids have come in at higher amounts than budgeted.

The Rose Bowl Operating Co. board this week accepted a bid from Costa Mesa-based Clark Construction for nearly $38.9 million to complete the rest of the press box work. Although Clark made the lowest bid, its price came in higher than the $34.7 million that stadium officials estimated.

"The market value of the work is higher than we believed it was," said Michael J. Cawlina, the principal in charge for project manager Bernards/Barton Malow. Until they compare notes relating to hundreds of line items, "we won't know why."

The good news, he said, is that the press box - the most complicated portion of the work - has now been completely contracted out. For remaining work, they have more time to "ensure the most cost-effective construction materials and means."

Rose Bowl CEO and General Manager Darryl Dunn said stadium officials recognize the need to address the existing funding gap.

Dunn also insisted that officials want a quality project and have no intention of tapping the city's General Fund.

Stadium officials plan to plug at least a portion of the funding gap with $4 million in projected revenue from the 2014 Bowl Championship Series title game along with money raised by the private philanthropic group Legacy Connections. That campaign has raised $3 million out of its $25 million goal so far.

"It's a quiet campaign; we're very confident that we'll make a lot of headway in 2012," Dunn said of the group's fundraising efforts.

Dunn said stadium officials also identified more than $11 million in improvements that could be delayed - such as widening four tunnels and building 11 concession stands - if needed. They plan to discuss those options with stadium tenants UCLA and the Tournament of Roses.

The project also has about $8.7 million in contingency funds available, but that money will remain in the budget for now, Dunn said.

In October, the RBOC rejected all bids for the press box enclosure after the lowest remaining bidder came in nearly $4 million higher than anticipated. The RBOC then reissued a reorganized bid package for remaining press box work to one general contractor. The press box's construction schedule also was reduced from two phases to a single phase.

The changes were expected to result in more conventional building methods and better pricing from bidders.

ROSE BOWL PREMIUM SEATING SALES BEAT EXPECTATIONS
December 15, 2011
Copyright 2011 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - Rose Bowl officials say premium seating sales for the new press box which are key to funding the renovation are on track and doing better than anticipated, the Pasadena Star News reported.

"We're feeling great about where we are," said Jason Gonella, vice president of sales for Legends Sales and Marketing at the Rose Bowl. "We're getting more than we expected for suites and loge boxes ... We're getting more than we expected for most of the suites we are selling as well."

As a result of its success with loge box sales, the premium seating sales team increased the price of the loge boxes from $24,000 to $30,000 annually for UCLA and the Rose Bowl Game, which is a 25 percent increase, Gonella said.

They are now selling most suites in the $90,000 range for both the UCLA and Rose Bowl Game, up from the average expected price of about $78,000.

Gonella attributed the increase to the value of the product and the UCLA name brand.

The sales team has already sold 31 suites out of 54 so far and has commitments from seven more, he said. In addition, 14 out of 48 loge boxes have been sold and the team has commitments for two more.

However, Gonella acknowledges that club seat sales are the most important part of the equation since they will generate close to half of the revenue needed to pay the bond debt for the renovation.

"If we succeed or fail that will be based solely on the club seats," Gonella said.

Club seats are being sold at $4,000 each per year with increases dependent on length of time committed, he said.

All in all, premium seating is expected to generate nearly $10 million a year for the Rose Bowl, he said. The goal is to sell the inventory by the fall of 2013.

BOWL GAMES GETTING PUBLIC FINANCING
January 5, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Phoenix, Ariz. - The Sugar Bowl has accepted annual subsidies of at least $1 million from the state of Louisiana during much of the BCS era, while increasing its reserves to $34.2 million, records obtained by the Arizona Republic show.

Two other Bowl Championship Series games - the Fiesta and Orange bowls - also amassed cash reserves while accepting public subsidies from governments, many of which have recently been forced to make other cuts to their budgets.

The non-profit organizations that operate the three bowls pay no taxes on their revenues, donate a small percentage of their revenue to charitable causes and have significantly raised executive pay in recent years, the newspaper said.

The BCS, a system created in the 1998-99 season by universities and athletic conferences, designates by contract which bowls are part of its postseason bowl system. It selects which teams play in those games and a rotating fifth game that determines a national champion.

Of the four bowls now in the BCS - Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar - only the Rose Bowl says it has not received government subsidies.

The bowls defend the subsidies because they classify their events as economic engines that attract tens of thousands of tourists annually. They and their government sponsors view the subsidies as seed capital to help stage showcase events that guarantee the bowls and their communities continued national status.

The bowls note their games pump hundreds of millions of dollars into their local economies. The Sugar Bowl, for example, said its game and related activities injected $137 million into New Orleans and Louisiana in fiscal 2010.

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, whose office has paid out subsidies to the Sugar Bowl since fiscal 2006-07, told the Republic the bowl has been a good state investment. But, he added, the bowl no longer is "an appropriate recipient" of funds following media reports in the past year about the Sugar Bowl's reserves and Chief Executive Paul Hoolahan's salary of nearly $600,000. Recently, the Sugar Bowl also admitted making improper campaign contributions to Louisiana's former governor.

"They have a huge surplus, and they are paying a huge salary to the executive director," Dardenne said. "It certainly makes you recognize a non-profit entity like that has an upside potential to make money, and it no longer has a need to be subsidized by government entities." The bowls generate their income from the games, sponsorships and TV contracts. Last year, the combined BCS payout was nearly $182 million, with roughly 80 percent of the money going to the six power conferences that created the BCS.

The Sugar Bowl, according to its annual non-profit statement to the Internal Revenue Service, has taken government assistance since at least 2001-02, when the bowl accepted $1 million and had net assets of $10.7 million. Records show the bowl has since accepted subsidies nearly every year, for a total of nearly $11 million, as its net reserves more than tripled to $34.2 million.

Hotel and motel bed-tax revenues across Louisiana generate the state funding, Jacques Berry, a spokesman for Dardenne told the Republic. The money is passed through the Lieutenant Governor's Office after lawmakers and the governor approve a budget, Berry said.

The funding ultimately landed in the BCS' hands in 2009-10 as part of a $6 million Sugar Bowl payment to the BCS under its contract.

All subsidies from the state go to the BCS for payouts to universities participating in its bowls, said Sugar Bowl spokesman John Sudsbury.

The Sugar Bowl's $34.2 million net reserve is the healthiest among BCS members. The bowl turned down nearly $1.4 million from the state in the fiscal year ended June 30, Dardenne said, after publicity regarding the Sugar Bowl CEO's pay and because Louisiana was "going through serious financial challenges."

The Fiesta and Orange bowls also receive subsidies:

* Tempe, through 2013, will have paid the Fiesta Bowl $6.45 million to ensure the group continues to hold the Insight Bowl, a second game the bowl operates annually, in Tempe's Sun Devil Stadium. The contract requires the city to pay the bowl $850,000 this year and next and $900,000 the final year.

At the same time, Tempe in the fiscal year ended June 30 cut its budget by nearly $36.2 million and eliminated 21112 positions. Employees were forced to take furloughs last fiscal year and will do so again this fiscal year.

The Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau signed an agreement to pay the Fiesta Bowl $8.2 million over 20 years starting with the 2006-07 football season. In exchange for the money, which the bureau receives from city hotel-bed taxes, the Fiesta Bowl requires participating teams to stay in Scottsdale-area hotels and resorts. For the past Fiesta Bowl, for example, the universities of Connecticut and Oklahoma reported spending a combined $1.1 million in local lodging and meals.

The Fiesta Bowl had $22.3 million in net assets in 2009-10, the most recent year for which IRS records are available. That is nearly three times the value of its assets when the BCS began. * Public tax documents filed by the Orange Bowl report it received nearly $2.5 million in government grants since 2007-08. The largest chunk, $1.2 million, came in 2008-09. However, documents do not identify the sources of the grants, and the bowl declined requests to name them.

"Suffice it to say, we receive support from multiple sources as we affect tourism and economic development throughout the South Florida region," Orange Bowl spokesman Larry Wahl said. The Miami-area bowl has more than quadrupled its net reserves to $31.5 million since the BCS began.
* The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., which started in 1902 and is the oldest bowl, does not receive public subsidies. It has net reserves of $19.1 million, slightly more than double the amount since the BCS began and the lowest among BCS bowls.

Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said the Insight Bowl generates value for his city. But he considers the city's contract with the Fiesta too expensive.

"The amount provided to the bowl is larger than it needs to be," Hallman said. "I do recognize the community investment for the event is necessary . . . but I hope in the future the amount the city pays will be brought down."

PASADENA URGED TO WOO NFL TEAM, AT LEAST TEMPORARILY
January 19, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce wants the city to proceed with planning to host an NFL team at the stadium for as long as four years, the Pasadena Star News reported.

The city, which controls the Rose Bowl Operating Co., has had preliminary discussions with the National Football League about hosting a team on a temporary basis while a permanent stadium is built elsewhere in the region. Developers in the City of Industry and downtown Los Angeles are competing to lure an NFL franchise to Los Angeles, but it is considered likely a team would relocate from another city before a new stadium is complete.

The NFL has made clear no team will move to Los Angeles for the 2012 season.

Some residents are leery of hosting an NFL team as well as the UCLA Bruins and the Rose Bowl game, saying the 10 or so additional games each year would generate traffic, noise and garbage and limit the public's access to amenities in and around the Arroyo Seco, where the Rose Bowl sits.

City leaders say the money from such a deal would help erase a $20 million hole in the budget of the $160 million Rose Bowl renovation and support city services during lean budget years.

GROUP OFFERS SUGGESTIONS ON ROSE BOWL MANAGEMENT
February 9, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - The Rose Bowl should operate more like Yankee Stadium or the Heineken brewery, according to a report issued by a private urban planning group.

The Los Angeles Times said experts from the Urban Land Institute, a research institute specializing in responsible land use, called on Pasadena officials to preserve the nature of the Arroyo Seco and offset the costs of a current Rose Bowl renovation by offering stadium tours, creating merchandise and charging for parking at the stadium, even when no event is taking place.

The report also called for the creation of a nonprofit group to oversee all the features of the heavily-used recreational area.

"You have as many agencies managing this arroyo as Washington D.C.," the institute's Richard Perlmutter said at a Brookside Golf Club presentation.

Government agencies, including the Rose Bowl Operating Co., the Los Angeles County Flood Control District and Pasadena's Public Works Department, share oversight of the Arroyo Seco, creating a "fractured government structure," Perlmutter said.

The recommendations come as the 89-year-old Rose Bowl is undergoing a $160 million renovation that includes expanded luxury seating, larger tunnels and a new video screen. The work is scheduled to be completed before the 2014 Rose Bowl game.

Officials are looking to plug a $20 million funding gap for the project by raising private funds and possibly scaling back some of the planned work.

The panel estimated its revenue-generating proposals - Rose Bowl tours, holding weddings at the 50-yard line and charging for parking could bring in $10 million a year.

Rose Bowl Operating Co. Chief Executive Darryl Dunn said the city already is considering tours and some of the other ideas.

"For them to come up with some of the same concepts is reassuring," Dunn said. "But my sense is that $10 million may be a little ambitious."

Urban Land Institute President Richard Rosan said Pasadena should shy away from temporarily hosting an NFL team, a move that some city officials see as a way to bridge the budget gap.

"While it will help financially in the short run, it will take away from the longer term what you need to do with the Arroyo," Rosan said.

Dunn said the city has not yet decided whether to perform an Environmental Impact Report on hosting an NFL team.

PASADENA TO STUDY NFL IMPACT ON ROSE BOWL
March 15, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Pasadena, Calif. - The Pasadena City Council has ordered a full environmental study for temporarily hosting an NFL team at the Rose Bowl, according to the Pasadena Star News.

The study would determine the impacts, including that of traffic, of allowing an NFL team to use the Rose Bowl as a home stadium for five years while another stadium is built elsewhere in the region.

City leaders have said hosting a team on a temporary basis would generate much-needed tax revenue to shore up budget deficits while also boosting business in the city. Opponents, including nearby homeowners, are concerned that a team drawing tens of thousands of fans to 10 or more games a year would trample the Arroyo Seco, limit access to pools and park areas near the stadium and cause headaches for Rose Bowl neighbors.

Earlier this year, the Linda Vista/Annandale Assn. voted to oppose an NFL team moving into the Rose Bowl.

The cost of the $400,000 study will be split between the city and the Rose Bowl Operating Co., officials said. Previously, they said they wanted the NFL to at least pay for part of the environmental report.

No team has committed to a move to Los Angeles, though developers and L.A. city officials are hoping to attract a team from another city. Pasadena voters previously rejected a ballot measure asking whether they would like to see a pro team permanently housed at the stadium.

Officials have been quick to point out the deal is temporary deal and is anything but certain.

"Should the Rose Bowl Operating Co. and council go forward, it should not be interpreted that it's predetermined that an NFL team would come to L.A.," said Councilman Victor Gordo, who is also president of the Rose Bowl Operating Co.

"It's an investment, ensuring the Rose Bowl is in a position, if an NFL team chooses to relocate in the Los Angeles area, to temporarily host the NFL while a permanent stadium is being built."

Temporarily hosting an NFL team would increase the number of events held at the Rose Bowl annually from 12 to 25, which would require a change in a city law.

Gordo said stadium officials didn't want to wait for the NFL to give them the go-ahead to start the study because it's expected to take eight months to complete. He said the city wants to be competitive with its only likely rival as a temporary home to a team, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Darryl Dunn, chief executive of the Rose Bowl Operating Co., said the earliest a team would play at the stadium is the fall of 2013. The stadium is undergoing a renovation that's expected to be completed by 2014, but the majority of the work would be finished by 2013.

Pasadena faces a $6 million deficit in its $216 million General Fund budget this year.

The cost for renovating the Rose Bowl is estimated at $160 million, and the project is currently short by more than $20 million.

A decision from an NFL team to relocate likely would occur between December 2012 and February 2013, said City Manager Michael Beck.

UCLA Bruins

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Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

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