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Pasadena Officials to Meet on Rose Bowl Plan

May 13, 2003|Tina Daunt | Times Staff Writer

Amid growing opposition from Pasadena preservationists and Arroyo Seco residents, city leaders are meeting in private tonight to discuss whether to pursue plans to lure an NFL team to the Rose Bowl.

Members of the City Council and the Rose Bowl's operating committee will convene at City Hall at 7 p.m. A public debate is set for next Monday's council meeting, where officials are expected to vote on whether to seek a nonbinding agreement with the league. The deal would include a privately funded, $500-million renovation of the historic stadium.

As officials weigh their options, opponents have stepped up their efforts to defeat the project.

On Sunday, homeowners began handing out large fliers at the Rose Bowl flea market, warning residents that the proposal would transform the Arroyo Seco from a recreational and environmental resource into "an exclusive enclave for pro football fans throughout Southern California."

"With all the questions about the NFL at the Rose Bowl, the only answer is NO!" the flier proclaimed in large red letters. The flier was put out by a group called "No NFL at the Rose Bowl."

Meanwhile, Bo Goldsen, who lives near the stadium, dashed off an angry letter to NFL owners warning that "we will fight you at every turn."

"The Rose Bowl is surrounded by one of the most beautiful residential areas of Southern California," Goldsen wrote. "The Rose Bowl itself sits in the 'Arroyo,' which is a parkland fervently protected by the different Arroyo groups. The density of Pasadena is multiplying out of control, and the traffic problems that exist, especially on event days at the Rose Bowl, are catastrophic."

Former Pasadena Mayor Bill Thomson, chairman of the Rose Bowl's tenant-search committee, said the homeowners' allegations are unfounded.

"It's just pure nonsense," Thomson said. "We are talking about the use of the Rose Bowl for 10 additional days out of the entire year. Perhaps as many as 13 additional days. It is not going to have a major impact on the Arroyo Seco."

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