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Hike in Soda Price Weighed to Fund School Program

Pasadena | Community News File

August 15, 1997

City officials are considering a plan to charge a few cents extra for refreshments at Rose Bowl events to provide money for a new Pasadena schools program.

A Pasadena City Council business subcommittee led by Councilman William Crowfoot has given the go-ahead for Rose Bowl officials to work out a way to generate up to $100,000 for the Pasadena Unified School District by raising the price of soft drinks and possibly beer.

The catalyst for the plan was the stadium's catering company, Service America, which has a year remaining on its contract and is seeking a 10-year extension. To avoid a competitive bidding process, the company has offered to invest $2 million in new concessions and provide additional revenue of $3.9 million over the next decade.

However, Crowfoot and a minority of the Rose Bowl board have championed an open bid that would allow the school district's catering service to compete.

After learning of that prospect, Service America offered to invest $185,000 over 10 years in a proposed school district program, the Hospitality and Restaurant Academy, in which students would learn about the industry.

At the council subcommittee meeting Wednesday night, school and city officials said that that money was not enough, and an agreement was reached calling for 10 cents to be added to the cost of each soft drink, providing another $60,000 annually.

Council members said they like to see beer drinkers pay more as well and authorized Rose Bowl officials to examine a plan to consider increasing those prices as well.

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