Neighborhoods critical of NFL impacts on Rose Bowl

Traffic, noise and the displacement of Arroyo Seco users top a list of concerns voiced during a recent public hearing on plans to temporarily house an NFL team at the Rose Bowl.

The stadium could be ready to accommodate NFL games as early as next fall, but Rose Bowl officials have yet to discuss proposals with the league, team owners or developers planning Farmers Field in downtown Los Angeles, said Rose Bowl General Manager Darryl Dunn.

For professional football to come to the Rose Bowl, Pasadena City Council members must waive restrictions on the number of large events at the stadium after approving an environmental study of the proposal.

The city has received 20 emails, 10 letters and 62 verbal comments at public meetings, city spokesman William Boyer said last week.

A final report will be published Nov. 9. The City Council is expected to review the document on Nov. 19, said city planner David Sinclair.

City and Rose Bowl officials have said bringing in the NFL for a few years would generate much-needed revenue for the city and the stadium, which is undergoing a $170-million renovation.

An NFL team would bring 25,500 to 27,700 vehicles to the Rose Bowl on game days, backing up traffic at 58 intersections in the area, according to the draft environmental study.

Traffic would also hurt air quality, increase noise levels and displace users of Brookside Park, the Brookside Golf Course, the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center and the Kidspace Museum on game days, the study found.

Residents of neighborhoods near the Rose Bowl who gathered last week for the Pasadena Recreation and Parks Commission meeting said those impacts are unacceptable.

“If you're out walking with your dog, you will see there's a lot of trash that's just left there” after UCLA football games, said Susan McClymonds, vice president of the Linda Vista - Annandale Assn.

Plastic bags and bottle caps would find their way into Arroyo waterways that connect to the Los Angeles River, which empties into the Pacific Ocean, she added.

Norm Parker, a frequent Brookside golfer, took issue with the draft study's suggestion that repairing automobile damage to the course would take as little as one day.

“I'm concerned about the degradation of fairways being used as driveways,” said Parker, adding that back-to-back UCLA and NFL games on rainy days could be particularly disastrous.

Don Orsi, a former Linda Vista - Annandale Assn. executive, isn't pleased with professional football fans in general, and those of one potential tenant in particular.

“NFL games are different than UCLA games. The crowds are much tougher. You've got much more alcohol,” said Orsi, who asked that the study “include a mitigation measure that the [Oakland] Raiders not be included as a possible NFL team” for the Rose Bowl.

Pasadena Chamber of Commerce President Paul Little, whose group favors bringing in a team, said potential economic benefits outweigh noise and traffic impacts “at a venue specifically designed and built to house large-scale and noisy activities.”

“The National Football League represents a potential windfall for our local hospitality industry — our hotels and restaurants — as well as our local shops and businesses,” wrote Little, also a member of the Rose Bowl Operating Co. board.


Follow Joe Piasecki on Twitter: @joepiasecki


Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World