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Pasadena to Explore Wooing of Rams : Sports: The team's announcement that it may leave Anaheim prompts an effort to lure the pro football franchise to the Rose Bowl.

January 13, 1994|MIKE CARLSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Pasadena City Council does not want the Los Angeles Rams to leave Southern California without first looking into playing at the Rose Bowl.

Though the city has had a rocky relationship recently with the National Football League--losing money on the 1993 Super Bowl and then failing to win its bid for the 1998 championship--the council voted Tuesday to re-form the Super Bowl Subcommittee to investigate the possibility and costs of bringing the Rams to Pasadena.

"I know other cities are courting the Rams, but we have a different relationship with the Rams," said Councilman Chris Holden, noting that Rams owner Georgia Frontiere helped the city secure last year's Super Bowl.

"I think we need to put a proposal together regarding the relocation of the Rams to another Southern California market," he said. "I grew up on the Rams. . . . We want to try and retain this organization in Southern California."

The council voted 5 to 1 to empower the subcommittee of Holden, council members William Paparian and William Thomson, and Rose Bowl Operating Co. chairman Al Moses to begin talks with the Rams concerning a move to Pasadena.

Last week, the Rams announced the possibility of using the escape clause in their lease and moving the franchise out of Anaheim Stadium. Rams Executive Vice President John Shaw said no decision to leave Anaheim has been made, but the team is weighing the options of moving to other in-state venues or out of state.

If the Rams leave, the city of Anaheim would lose $400,000 a year in rent, as well as its cut of 7.5% of ticket revenue, 20% of luxury box revenue, and about 50% of parking and concession revenue.

Anaheim Councilman Irv Pickler said he wants the Rams to stay but will not beg them to stay. The city said it will negotiate to keep the team but could not match extravagant offers from elsewhere, such as Baltimore's promise to build a $165-million stadium.

Pasadena Councilwoman Katherine Nack was the sole dissenting vote on the Rose Bowl plan, saying she thought the costs of wooing a professional football team would be prohibitive. Nack also argued that residents who live around the Rose Bowl need a strong voice in any decision to move the Rams to the stadium.

"If we do anything about discussing moving a professional football team into the Arroyo, we must include all the neighborhoods," Nack said.

Councilman Isaac Richard was absent from the meeting.

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