Rose Bowl Restroom Ads OKd

Times Staff Writer

It wasn't exactly sacrosanct, but it used to be one place you could go to escape the barrage of Madison Avenue hype.

No longer. At least not in Pasadena.

The Pasadena Board of Directors on Tuesday approved the placement of advertising boards in the Rose Bowl's 27 permanent restrooms.

Each board will contain 12, 28-inch-tall ad panels, hung above the urinals in the men's restrooms and inside the entrances to the women's restrooms.

$99,000 Return Possible

Indoor Media Concepts, a Tustin company that "specializes in unique marketing concepts," according to a city staff report, approached the Rose Bowl staff with the new idea. Only two other companies nationwide provide a similar service, but neither of them are in the western United States.

Potential advertisers include radio stations, software developers, automobile makers and hotels.

The city's return could reach $99,000--60% of the restroom ad income. In addition, the city will be allocated one public service ad on each board.

"I guess if anybody had told me this is the way you make money, I'd have told them they were crazy," said City Manager Don McIntyre.

Some Reservations

The ads could replace revenue lost from the cancellation of a September concert and could enable the city to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages at the stadium, a move that may be considered by the Board of Directors in the future.

Although most of the board members considered the restroom ads a discreet way to earn more money for the bowl, Director Rick Cole had reservations.

"We have already decorated one side of the Rose Bowl with 'Chrysler Car of Champions' and it seems more and more athletes themselves are becoming walking billboards," he said. "Should we have behind the mayor, 'This City Council meeting is brought to you by the Norton Simon Museum?' "

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