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$152 million Rose Bowl renovation is under way

The Pasadena City Council approved a plan to renovate the historic Rose Bowl.

January 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
An extreme makeover is now under way at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

A ground-breaking ceremony commenced the renovation project Tuesday. The project is designed to upgrade everything from scoreboards to hot dog stands.

In its 88th year the iconic Rose Bowl has begun to wilt. But a $152 million makeover promises to revitalize this aging rose. A ground breaking ceremony celebrated the start of a multimillion dollar renovation. It is the largest investment in the history of the Rose Bowl.

Construction has begun on the south end of the stadium where more aisles will be added to make access easier for fans.

The 3-year project will also include updating the restrooms and concessions stands, as well as widening tunnels, renovating the press box and premium seating area.

The main tenant for the stadium is the UCLA football team and the stadium hosts the annual Rose Bowl game. Games will go uninterrupted during the construction that will mostly happen off-season.

Despite all the change, the Rose Bowl will stay true to its status as a historical landmark.

"It is going to have some of the bells and whistles, it is going to have a new video board for this year's UCLA football season that people can enjoy, but it is also going to have a historic scoreboard on the other side from the 1930's," said Rose Bowl General Manager Darryl Dunn.

Preserving the history of the stadium is very important to the community, especially Bill Leashman, whose grandfather helped build the Rose Bowl in 1922.

"I know they are looking down with a big smile," said Leashman.

Leashman says his grandfather was a visionary who would appreciate the move forward while still honoring the past.

"That legacy of all the great events, and all the Rose Bowl games, the Olympics, World Cup Soccer," said Sue Mossman from the Pasadena Heritage. "All of that will live in this place because we aren't going to lose the history; we are just going to make it a little more comfortable."