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NFL team in Pasadena would boost noise, traffic and air pollution

But the biggest effects of Pasadena hosting an NFL team for up to 5 years at the Rose Bowl would be temporary and manageable, report released by the city says.

August 12, 2012|By Adolfo Flores, Los Angeles Times
  • The Rose Bowl is undergoing a $179-million renovation. Pasadena may host an NFL team there while a permanent stadium is built elsewhere in the region.
The Rose Bowl is undergoing a $179-million renovation. Pasadena may host… (Raul Roa, Glendale News-Press )

Pasadena would see a significant and unavoidable increase in noise, traffic and air pollution if an NFL team were to play at the Rose Bowl, but the biggest effects would be temporary and manageable, according to a new report released by the city of Pasadena.

The environmental study released last week was commissioned by the city as it prepares for the possibility of hosting an NFL team while a permanent stadium is built elsewhere in the region. Officials decided to go ahead with the environmental review on the chance that a team will want to relocate to Southern California and use the Rose Bowl, a decision that is also contingent on approval by the National Football League.

Pasadena voters previously rejected a bid to bring an NFL team to Pasadena, but Rose Bowl and city officials say hosting a team at the stadium that already is home to UCLA football and the annual Rose Bowl game could provide a significant economic boost to local government and area businesses.

The Rose Bowl is in the middle of a $179-million renovation, and officials say there is a roughly $30-million gap between available funding and construction costs.

The draft environmental report by Camarillo-based Impact Sciences Inc. examined the effect of having 13 NFL games at the stadium for up to five years, beginning as early as the 2013 season.

"It's just informational. It's up to the City Council to decide whether to allow more events at the Rose Bowl," said Vince Bertoni, director of the Pasadena Planning Department. "It's not there to make a recommendation whether it's a good or bad idea."

Pasadena law allows the Rose Bowl to host no more than 12 events a year that garner attendance of 20,000 people or more. The City Council would have to amend the ordinance, allowing 25 events, for a pro football team to call the stadium home.

The report found that hosting NFL games would increase traffic and traffic-related noise, and would unavoidably restrict public access to other recreational activities in the Arroyo Seco on game days, such as running, hiking or using the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center.

The report found that traffic could be eased by better control of 22 key intersections, either with traffic control officers taking charge on game days or with lights timed especially for the congestion.

The expected traffic would generate air pollution that exceeds South Coast Air Quality Management Quality thresholds, the report stated. But it would do so only for a short period and release fewer pollutants than a project that operates daily.

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