With only a quarter of a 10-year contract left to go, Pasadena is planning its defensive strategy to keep UCLA football at the Rose Bowl.
At a pep rally tonight in Old Town, Mayor William M. Paparian will present UCLA Coach Terry Donahue with a key to the city and the UCLA Spirit Squad and the Alumni Band are scheduled to perform. Eight restaurants will set up food booths at One Colorado Plaza for the event.
When Jesse Jackson received the key to the city three months ago, "no one even knew about it," said pep rally organizer Steve Berg. "Jesse Jackson is a good guy and all, but he's never done anything for Pasadena. UCLA brings in $21 million to $25 million in indirect sales."
But Paparian knows that it will take more than fanfare to persuade the school to renew its contract. The Pasadena City Council has approved spending more than $21 million to renovate the bowl.
"We think the stadium has a bright future," Paparian said.
Whether that bright future will include UCLA remains to be seen. The school's athletic director's office would not comment on what the Bruins plan to do when their contract expires next year.