Rose Bowl Renovations behind schedule and over budget


Jan 31, 1993; Pasadena, CA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Outside view of the stadium at Super Bowl XXVII at the Rose Bowl. The Cowboys defeated the Bills 52-17. Mandatory Credit: Photo By US PRESSWIRE

According to the Pasadena Star News, the renovations of the historic Rose Bowl Stadium are not going according to plan. The paper reported Wednesday that there is a funding gap of $35 million, up from just over $20 million in December.

Stadium and city officials said the three-year face lift is now projected to cost $174.5 million, about $23 million more than the initial projection and almost $15 million more than the estimate from last year.

Rose Bowl CEO and General Manager Darryl Dunn spoke with the Pasadena Star about the new problems they are facing:

"“The challenges that we have in renovating our historic stadium are significant,” Rose Bowl CEO and General Manager Darryl Dunn said. “We’re going to be working with our partners and the (Rose Bowl Operating Co.) board of directors and City Council to determine how best to proceed from here.”"

Not only that, but they are also facing an eight-day construction delay of the press box, due to unforeseen problems such as lead abatement.

The Pasadena Star also reports that the Rose Bowl Operating Co. (RBOC) is looking for potential remedies, such as refinancing pre-existing RBOC debt and taking out several types of loans. One such loan is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor program loan, which encourages qualified foreign investors to invest in the U.S. in exchange for permanent residency, Internal city loans are also being considered.

Councilman Terry Tornek told the Pasadena Star that the increasing costs are “worrisome.” The RBOC isn’t just dealing with the funding gap; they have to think about their planned projected revenues as well. For example, they are still on the hook for the 2014 Bowl Championship Series title game revenue as well as a variety of philanthropic donations. While they are part of the financing plan, Tornek said those funds will not be available for years out.

The project is not yet doomed but it will indeed be something to watch as football season gets close. In spite of the aforementioned eight-day delay of the press box renovation, the construction team does intend to make up for lost time and have it up and running in time for the kick off of UCLA’s season.

The Rose Bowl is one of the most iconic locations in sports lore, as it is “The Granddaddy Of Them All,” the site of the very first BCS bowl game. It was first played in 1902 and has been held annually since 1916. Over those 110 years, the Rose Bowl has been the site of many a match up between the Pac-12 and Big 10 Champions, as well as a few Super Bowls.

It is also the home stadium of the UCLA Bruins, but their rivals the USC Trojans have accomplished so much in that stadium that they often consider the stadium their home away from home. Case in point: At the end of the 2008-2009 season, then-head coach Pete Carroll decided that the Trojans would travel to the Rose Bowl to face UCLA wearing their cardinal-and-gold home jerseys instead of their white-and-cardinal away ones, in one of the many moves that would earn USC the nickname of “Arrogant Nation”. Carroll knew that wearing home jerseys for an away game would cost him a 15-yard penalty at the beginning of the game, but the team wore them anyway. USC beat the Bruins en route to a Rose Bowl victory over Penn State a few weeks later, and the NCAA made a new rule following the season that in rivalry games, it is OK for both teams involved to wear their respective home jerseys. Aside from its rivalry with UCLA, USC has played in the Rose Bowl BCS Bowl the most times of any school (33) and also has the most wins, with 24.

For a complete look at the proposed Rose Bowl Renovations, click here.