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Banks, chamber want council to soon approve Rose Bowl EIR

By André Coleman 11/01/2012

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Local banks and the Chamber of Commerce are urging the Pasadena City Council to certify the Rose Bowl Environmental Report (EIR), which could help open negotiations for the historic stadium to host an NFL team on an interim basis.

“We at Amalgamated Bank urge you not to delay in a decision on the Environmental Impact Report for the possibility of the interim NFL location at the Rose Bowl,” wrote Senior Vice President Patty Waggoner in a letter to the council. “We strongly urge the city to go through the necessary reporting for this very important issue.”

The council received a similar letter from Valerie Prince, first vice president of the local Bank of Manhattan

“Please do not delay your decision on the Environmental Impact Report with regards to an NFL team using the Rose Bowl on an interim basis while a permanent stadium is being built elsewhere,” Prince wrote.

The EIR, which cost the city $400,000, has already been reviewed and approved by the city’s Planning Commission, Transportation Advisory Commission and Recreation and Parks Commission, according to a letter written by Chamber of Commerce President Paul Little. Little also asked that the council approve the EIR.

“At its October meeting … the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors reiterated its strong support for Pasadena and the Rose Bowl having the opportunity hosting a National Football League team in the Rose Bowl. For the our city to be in consideration to host an NFL team on an interim basis, the Pasadena City Council must consider the current Environmental Impact Report and make the appropriate findings and the appropriate actions to certify the EIR,” wrote Little, a former councilman.

At its meeting Monday, the council took no action on the three requests because they were not put on the agenda. The matter will come up for discussion at the council’s Nov. 19 meeting.

On Oct. 3, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved plans to build American Entertainment Group (AEG’s) Farmers Field in downtown LA for $1.5 billion. However, the group, which has been up for sale since Sept. 18, cannot break ground until the NFL decides which team will move to Los Angeles. The project is not expected to be completed before fall 2015.

In July, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to all 32 teams, stating that any franchise interested in relocating to LA for the 2013 season must apply between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15 and prove it has exhausted all attempts to remain in its current location.

Once a team moves to Los Angeles, it will be forced to play in an interim location for several years.

The EIR found that allowing an NFL franchise to use the Rose Bowl for up to five years would cause some “significant and unavoidable” negative impacts in the areas of noise, air quality, recreation, transportation, traffic and parking.

The report did not list how many extra car trips an average NFL game would generate, but pointed out the traffic could be mitigated by using police officers to control traffic control and timing traffic lights in and around the stadium. 

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