Cost of Rose Bowl renovations goes up, again

The price tag for renovations at the Rose Bowl continues to balloon, with officials adding $6 million last week to a construction contract for the already well-over-budget project.

The money is needed to cover repairs for botched upgrades installed ahead of the 1994 World Cup games and increased labor costs incurred in the rush to finish seating upgrades before UCLA’s football home opener on Sept. 8, officials said.

Originally expected to cost $152 million, the project is now budgeted at about $170 million — excluding $14 million in work that has already been deferred because of cost concerns.

Rose Bowl Operating Co. Vice President Paul Little said board members may defer other work pending talks with the stadium’s main tenants, UCLA and the Tournament of Roses.

“It’s a tough spot to be in,” said Little.

About 60% of the latest $6-million overage was for overtime and additional workers needed to complete 1,000 new pavilion seats before UCLA’s first home game, he added.

“There was overtime and a very intense amount of work, particularly in August, as we had to get this pavilion ready for the first UCLA game,” said Rose Bowl General Manager Darryl Dunn.

Pasadena-based Parsons Corp. is supervising construction details of the renovation project.

Clark Construction Group, which was general contractor for the seismic retrofit of Pasadena City Hall in the mid-2000s, was hired to complete pavilion seating renovations.

The 1922 stadium underwent a series of hurried improvements before hosting the 1993 Super Bowl and the 1994 World Cup Final.

“Quite frankly, some of it was just shabby construction,” said Little.

Dunn said in recent months workers had to replace flawed flooring in the pavilion area and discovered problems unrelated to the 1990s upgrades.

Rose Bowl Operating Co. President Victor Gordo said missing or misleading construction drawings from throughout the stadium’s history have contributed to the headaches.

Gordo has appointed West Hollywood City Manager Paul Arevalo, a Pasadena resident, to head a committee conducting an independent review of the project, he said.

The report will give “full transparency so the public understands the project challenges and how it has evolved over the course of two years,” Gordo said.

“This is a very complex project at a 90-year-old stadium that has been pieced together over time,” Gordo said. “We’re dealing with the challenges, and the end product will be worth what the city has put into it.”

At its inception, the Rose Bowl renovation project faced a $12-million financing gap that has increased to nearly $30 million.

Little said the seating pavilion and other renovations already under way will continue on schedule, but board members must soon decide whether to put off additional planned improvements, including restroom upgrades.

“It’s a matter of ironing out what the next year’s work will be and what can be deferred into the future. That’s up in the air at this point,” he said.


Follow Joe Piasecki on Twitter: @JoePiasecki

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