UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero might be feeling the euphoria of a reality show contestant picked to receive a free home makeover.
The Rose Bowl is set to undergo $152 million in renovations after the Pasadena City Council on Monday approved a bond measure that will provide the bulk of funding for improvements to UCLA's football home over the next three years.
"It's a momentous day for all of us," Guerrero said Tuesday during a ceremony to announce the upgrades to the 88-year-old facility.
The cost to the Bruins' athletic department: $0.
UCLA fans will benefit from widened tunnels and additional aisles for smoother entry and exit at the stadium. Other improvements include additional toilets, a 50% increase in concession areas, new luxury and premium seating inside a refurbished press box, a video board 2½ times larger than the current one and a 1940s-style scoreboard in the stadium's south end.
Under the financing plan, most of the renovations will be paid for with $130 million in local and federal bonds. The city of Pasadena will contribute $15 million through Bowl Championship Series title game revenues and other sources. The remaining $7 million is expected to be raised from Legacy Connections Inc., a private philanthropic group.
UCLA extended its stadium lease to 2042, and the Rose Bowl game is to be played in Pasadena through at least 2043.
"Certainly, this was the catalyst that created the mechanism and the opportunity for us to do that," Guerrero said of the lease extension.
Starting in 2012, the Bruins won't have to travel to Athens, Ga., to play between the hedges. In a nod to its past, the Rose Bowl will once again feature hedges that act as a barrier between fans and the playing field as they enter and exit the stadium on the field level.
"We want people to realize they're not in a stadium that's built in 2010," said Darryl Dunn, the general manager of the stadium. He called the enhancements "a way to keep the Rose Bowl viable for future generations."
The renovations are scheduled to be carried out in three phases, with all of the improvements completed prior to the 100th Rose Bowl game and the BCS title game in January 2014. Most of the work will be performed outside of football season.
Seating capacity is expected to be reduced by 2,000 to 3,000 through the removal of the 10 lowest rows of seats, leaving a total capacity of more than 89,000.