After reading "Pasadena, L.A. and Soccer Can All Win" (Commentary, April 22), it is very tempting to simply thumb my nose in Frank del Olmo's direction and issue a few "nyah nyahs." After all, Major League Soccer is a smash, as he so ably pointed out. The Los Angeles franchise, the Galaxy, is firmly housed in Pasadena's Rose Bowl, thanks to a two-year contract. What's more, both Pasadena and the Galaxy are very happy with the arrangement. Even the Rose Bowl neighbors, so severely impacted by the overwhelming response to the opening game, have seen that mitigation measures imposed by the Rose Bowl Operating Co. and the city of Pasadena are helping protect them from the negative impacts of traffic, noise and litter. So why not gloat?
The success of the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl is not a case of one municipality winning out over another. It is a case of our entire region reaping great benefits from a growing professional sport. We should not be fighting one another over resources and tenants for our major sports venues.
If the Greater Los Angeles area is to prosper as a stadium sports venue, those cities with stadiums must recognize that cooperation, not cutthroat competition, must be our guiding principle. Whether individual games or teams are housed in a particular venue may mean considerable income to the city in which that stadium is situated; however, the economic fallout from that sporting event is felt countywide.
How can it be that the good fortune of one stadium can provide largess for neighboring cities and towns? As an example, the most recent Rose Bowl contest between Northwestern and USC brought shivering Midwesterners to our area in droves. Where did they stay? Many chose Pasadena hotels, but even more chose to stay near the beach. Tour organizers booked Northwestern fans by the hundreds into hotels in Santa Monica, Newport Beach and even Los Angeles and Universal City. Sales taxes, transient occupancy taxes and tourist dollars flowed into municipalities throughout the region as a result of the Rose Bowl game.
Pasadena City Council