PASADENA (CNS) – The Pasadena City Council voted early today to certify an environmental impact report and amend city law to allow an NFL team to play at the Rose Bowl for up to five years while a permanent new Southland home is being built.
The council voted 7-1 in favor of certifying a so-called Final Environmental Impact Report and approving amending the Arroyo Seco Public Lands Ordinance to pave the way for up to 13 National Football League games per year at the iconic stadium. A second vote, needed to enact the decisions taken this morning, was scheduled for Dec. 3.
Today’s vote took place after more than five hours of reports by staff and testimony from 48 speakers, according to a Pasadena city statement. About 125 people attended the public hearing, which began Monday night.
No NFL team has committed to move to Los Angeles, either now or after a permanent new NFL stadium is built, possibly in downtown Los Angeles.
Nonetheless, the amendment approved by the council would allow the city to negotiate with an NFL team to host home games at the Rose Bowl for up to five years “if, and when, an NFL team moves to the Los Angeles area while a permanent stadium is being constructed elsewhere,” the statement said.
The Arroyo Seco Public Lands Ordinance now restricts Rose Bowl events attended by 20,000 people or more to 12 per year. Seven of those are UCLA football games. Two more are post-season collegiate games, the Rose Bowl game and once-every-four-years Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.
The proposed amendment would allow — in addition to the existing Rose Bowl schedule — up to 13 NFL games per year for up to five years. It pits Rose Bowl-area residents who fear traffic jams and an influx of unruly fans against the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and other business interests who say millions of dollars in public revenue and game-day spending would be worth the inconveniences.
A Nov. 5 report by Barrett Sports Group, a Manhattan Beach consulting firm hired by Pasadena, estimates that NFL games would raise $5 million to $10 million a year for the city-owned Rose Bowl, where costs for an ongoing renovation have spiraled to nearly $195 million, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. The gap between the funds Rose Bowl officials have and what they estimate they need has reached $30 million.
Several City Council members said before the vote that the renovation cost would be a factor in their decision.
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