The Future of the Rose Bowl

The stage is now set for a showdown in November over the five year controversy about the future of the Rose Bowl. Prop A on the Pasadena municipal ballot will finally resolve the issue about whether the Rose Bowl will be home to a National Football League franchise.

Or will it? More probably the ballot measure, pushed by Pasadena City Council members Chris Holden, Joyce Streator and Paul Little, is but an anticlimatic last hurrah for those who believe that the NFL would bless our fair city with a $500 million no strings attached gift to revive the aging stadium in the Arroyo.

After all, even if voters approve the measure, legal challenges and NFL preferences make it unlikely that an NFL franchise will ever take over the grandest college stadium of them all. Over a year ago, the majority of the City Council rejected that notion, and the NFL has focussed its attention on more likely prospects in Los Angeles and Anaheim.

While the NFL notion is superficially attractive and may even get by the voters, a whole host of Pasadena organizations and individuals have come forward to challenge elements of the NFL program. it's clear that the issues involved are vital to all those who love the Arroyo.

Pasadena Heritage and preservationists are concerned about protecting this historic character of the bowl and its natural setting. The West Pasadena Residents Association and the Linda Vista/Annandale Association are concerned about neighborhood impacts, increased traffic, parking and noise.

Here are some of the issues that we hope are considered by Pasadena voters:

  • Will the NFL show any concern for the historic character of the aging stadium while transforming it into a commercial sports venue?
  • What happens if another stadium is built in the Los Angeles area
  • What would be the impact of almost a million square feet of commercial development at the Rose Bowl site be on the natural character of the Arroyo Seco?
  • Will the NFL help of hinder environmental restoration efforts?
  • How will the thousands of recreational users of the Central Arroyo be affected by the presence of major events and of the presence of a new commercial/retail hub at the Rose Bowl?
  • What are the short and long-term prospects for its viability?

The news coverage of the last five years can give you a good idea about the answers to these questions and issues. You can find links to comprehensive news coverage of the future of the Rose Bowl in the column to the right.