Granddaddy's facelift

Granddaddy's facelift

City to host open house at Rose Bowl after project’s high costs lead to credit rating drop

By Kayla Irby 06/05/2013

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On the heels of a recent credit downgrade due to the burgeoning costs of the Rose Bowl renovation project, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, City Council members and the Rose Bowl Operating Co. (RBOC) Board of Directors will host an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Rose Bowl Pavilion from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The pavilion includes new premium seating, a reconstructed press box, a new sound system and improved security operations. Other new key features of the overall stadium renovation include widened tunnels and aisles, an updated video board and scoreboard, as well as improvements to the iconic building’s infrastructure. 

“The project is 90 percent complete,” said Pasadena City Councilman Victor Gordo, who also sits on the RBOC. “All that’s remaining is the field work and the work on the concourse. The major cost of the project is complete. I expect people to come out and be very pleased with the workmanship and space created, as well as the manner in which the new pavilion blends in with the historic building.”

Designed by famed architect Myron Hunt, the Rose Bowl Stadium was completed in 1922 and is the host to the annual Rose Bowl Game, “The Granddaddy of Them All,” on New Year’s Day. The Rose Bowl is also UCLA’s home field for football games. The stadium has also been the home to five Super Bowls, men’s and women’s World Cup finals, Olympic events, concerts, and the largest Fourth of July fireworks show west of the Mississippi. This summer, Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z are scheduled to perform there. 

City officials have spent nearly $200 million on a three-phase plan to repair the structure by rebuilding the press box, replacing the score boards and widening tunnels. The renovation was originally projected to cost $153 million. On May 24, Fitch Ratings downgraded Pasadena’s credit rating from AAA to AA+, in part due to the costs of the project.

“Of course we are taking it seriously, but let’s keep it in perspective,” Gordo said. “It’s just one agency. We still retain a triple-A rating with the other agencies. The AA+ with Fitch is still strong and has no immediate impact to the city. If we had not undertaken the Rose Bowl project, the impact to our revenue and city would have been far greater than a slight downgrade by one credit agency. The importance is we have revamped an iconic stadium, and we are in a strong fiscal position, so let’s not allow a slight downgrade, which has small impact, allow us to lose sight that it is an important achievement in our stadium and city’s history. “ 

Enter through Gate F for the open house and ribbon cutting ceremony and follow the directional signs. For more information, contact Mary Henderson at (626) 577-3107.

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