A close game
USC takeover of LA Coliseum could help Rose Bowl land NFL team
By André Coleman 08/16/2012
A vote in Los Angeles next month could have a major impact on whether an NFL team could temporarily play at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl or the LA Coliseum.
On Sept. 7, the nine-member LA Coliseum Commission will vote on issuing USC a master lease at that stadium, which would give the school’s athletic department veto power over an NFL team’s playing there.
“Whatever they decide to do, that is up to them,” Rose Bowl General Manager Darryl Dunn said Monday. “The biggest thing is a team needs to decide it wants to come to Los Angeles. That is what we are watching for.”
The vote is predicted to be near-unanimous, with LA City Councilman and Coliseum Commissioner Bernard Parks expected to be the possible lone holdout, according to ESPN.com. After that, USC will have 90 days to reach a final decision on whether to accept a pro team at the stadium.
If USC officials veto a pro team coming to the Coliseum, it could leave the Rose Bowl as the only remaining place for a team to play on an interim basis.
Last week, an environmental impact report said bringing an NFL team to the Rose Bowl, even on a temporary basis, would result in significant traffic increases in the Arroyo Seco on game days. Residents living near the stadium are opposed to a team playing in the stadium for that reason.
Commissioned by the city for $400,000, the report “Temporary Use of the Rose Bowl stadium by the National Football League (NFL)” found that football games in the Rose Bowl would temporarily increase traffic, noise and air pollution, as well as restrict access to the area for hikers, joggers and bicyclists on game days. However, Camarillo-based Impact Sciences, the authors of the report, said the negative impacts were manageable and should not be a reason for preventing an NFL team from playing in the stadium.
Last month, the NFL announced that placing a team in Los Angeles was a primary goal and that a team could be playing in a temporary stadium — either the Rose Bowl or the LA Coliseum — by September 2014 while a new stadium is built in downtown Los Angeles, near LA Live and the Coliseum, or another stadium project is constructed in the City of Industry.
Officials with AEG, owners of LA Live and Staples Center, which is proposing construction of Farmers Field, and the Majestic Group proposing the stadium in City of Industry said they won’t break ground on the new stadiums until they have a deal with a pro football team squared away.
The Rose Bowl is currently undergoing a renovation project, the cost of which has increased from $152 million two years ago to $177 million today.