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Will the NFL take the Bloom off the Rose Bowl?
NFL fans (if, indeed, they do exist in LA) may be heartened to learn that the Rose Bowl has put forth their proposal to revamp the historic stadium in hopes of luring a pro football franchise to the Arroyo. UCLA fans, Pasadenans, and those opposed to blighting a timeless landmark for short term financial gain will probably sigh and wonder why local governments are so willing to roll over for the chance to host a bad expansion football team, or worse, the Chargers.
Predictably, Rose Bowl officials are promising vast financial rewards, in jobs and tax revenue, as well as the increased prestige associated with being "a major league town" (LAist wasn't aware that Pasadena suffered from a lack of prestige, it being the rocket science capitol of the world, and all, but will take it on faith). Neighbors of the Bowl are skeptical, to say the least.
There are real questions about the true extent of benefits from what amounts to nine extra home games a year (in addition to UCLA games, and of course, the Rose Bowl itself), as opposed to the costs, both financial and environmental. Most jobs would be of the hot dog vendor variety, and any additional tax revenues could be eaten up by traffic control and security expenses. Also unanswered are key questions regarding the financing of the construction phase of the plan. Would the city pay? The Rose Bowl? The eventual owners of the team? No one is saying.
The Rose Bowl Operating Co. is denying that the plan is a fait accompli, all the while rushing to meet a January EIR (Environmental Impact Report) deadline in order to compete with the LA Coliseum and the Carson site in next May's selection of an LA venue for the NFL. It remains to be seen if they will truly take resident's opinions into account, but they have left themselves precious little time to make changes to the plan.
Of course, the whole thing would be moot if the NFL selects another site. If LAist had a vote, it would be for the Colosseum. It's central location and proximity to both freeways and mass transit, as well as it's completed and approved EIR would seem to make it the best choice. True, it does lack the aesthetic appeal of the Arroyo Seco, but that appeal may well disappear if the NFL comes to town.