It is unfortunate timing for me and the city of Pasadena that Rolfe Arnhym, executive vice president of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, intends to leave Pasadena to take a similar position with the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce (Times, May 5). Arnhym was the chief architect for the 1983 Army-Navy game held in Pasadena's Rose Bowl.
Local promoters and I were just about to unveil a proposal to rid the Army-Navy Game Foundation of its massive $2.5-million debt, including $174,000 owed the city of Pasadena for renting the Rose Bowl. Negotiations were about to be concluded to host the greatest yacht regatta ever this coming October in Pasadena.
Plans called for the Rose Bowl to be flooded for a monthlong series of international yacht races climaxing in a final race for the "Rose Cup." What the promoters and I were trying to capitalize on is the tremendous appeal of international yachting previously unexploited as a spectator sport because of the difficulty of setting up bleachers on the open seas.
Of course, we were aware of the risk, but it couldn't have been any greater than transporting two military academies' football teams, their student bodies, team mascots, and parents to Pasadena for a military invasion the likes of which wasn't even anticipated during World War II.
We didn't expect any of the snafus that plagued the Army-Navy game. First, all of the teams would have had to pay their way except those that absolutely couldn't. Second, we didn't anticipate any housing problems since we planned on putting up the competitors in vacant office buildings.
Just to show that there were no hard feelings, the promoters and I even planned to invite the Navy to this closed-sea event as long as they promised not to blow the competition out of the water.
EDWARD J. WASHATKA