Rose Bowl opposes NFL temporarily housing relocated team at stadium
|July 8, 2013 - The Rose Bowl Operating Company rejected a bid to allow a National Football League team to use the stadium for a temporary home in favor of an annual arts and craft festival. -|
|Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune|
The 4th annual LA Street Food Fest at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in 2013. On Wednesday, the Rose Bowl Operating Company board voted to deny an NFL team use the stadium. Staff file photo
PASADENA >> The Rose Bowl appeared to close the door Wednesday on any more discussion on the use of the iconic stadium as a temporary home if the NFL decides to move a team to the Los Angeles area.
The Rose Bowl Operating Committee unanimously voted not to respond to a feeler sent out to stadiums capable of temporarily housing a team.
The San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams have indicated an interest in moving to Southern California if a new stadium were to be built.
“It’s clear that the NFL can be a distraction in our role to try and achieve what I believe is a superior alternative in a music and arts festival,” said Councilman Victor Gordo, president of the RBOC board. “I for one suggest that we do not respond, that we decline to respond to the NFL’s (request for proposal) and we redouble our efforts to achieve an event that Pasadena can be proud of for generations to come.”
Though the NFL has not decided if any teams will come to Southern California, it put feelers out to existing venues, including the Rose Bowl, Dodger Stadium, the StubHub Center, Angels Stadium and the Los Angeles Coliseum, according to the RBOC board.
Those venues would house up to two teams as a permanent stadium is constructed elsewhere.
“An RFP to five stadiums is not an indication that the NFL wants to come here, it’s indication of a bidding war,” said board member Nicholas Rodriguez.
The City Council could override the RBOC’s decision, but at least three council members previously stated they would not support the NFL coming to Pasadena. All five of the remaining council members would need to vote in favor for it to pass.
Councilman John Kennedy would not say where he leaned, but he questioned the NFL’s initial request.
“My view is that if the NFL was serious, they would not be asking the city of Pasadena — a city of our stature — to send a proposal, they would be negotiating with the Rose Bowl directly,” he said.
Rose Bowl officials met in closed session Wednesday to discuss the finances with Chris Hardart, the NFL’s vice president of corporate development, shortly before they voted not to respond to the league’s request.
Rose Bowl CEO Darryl Dunn said it’s too early to say how much money the NFL could offer, but he noted that a past analysis estimated between $5 to $10 million.
The RBOC board’s vote put its support squarely behind what they see as a more lucrative “long-term” option in a proposed Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival, a two- to three-day similar to the Coachella Music Festival that could draw as many as 90,000 revelers to the Rose Bowl by 2016.
Promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group, or AEG, has offered to run the festival for up to 10 years, with possible extensions that could draw out its contract to 20 years. The city is studying the environmental impact that such an event could have on the area. The council has not voted on the matter.
Residents near the Rose Bowl vehemently oppose a NFL team playing in their neighborhood, as many see it as a headache that brings traffic and noise, with little benefit.
A collection of resident associations sued the city and the Rose Bowl in 2013, accusing officials of not properly studying the environmental impacts of bringing the NFL to town. In May, an appellate court ruled against the residents.
Nina Chomsky, president of the Linda Vista-Annandale Association, remained wary at Wednesday’s meeting. She worried that the NFL could come back down the road.
“There’s sort of an open endedness to it, but it’s better than voting to go ahead right now,” she said.
While the stadium’s neighbors also spoke against the music festival in the past, several at recent meetings said they would rather see a festival.
“Our hope is that if we go forward with this, that the NFL is off the table,” said Geoffrey Baum, president of the West Pasadena Residents Association at a May meeting regarding the festival.
Jason Henry covers Local Governments and Education Reach the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Jason on Twitter: @JasonMHenry.
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