It’s looking more and more like the NFL will be returning to the city of Los Angeles for the 2016 season. Whether it’s the Rams, Raiders or Chargers, at least one NFL team is probably headed to the City of Angels in the near future.
It also seems likely that whatever stadium they are scheduled to play in will not be completed in time, so a temporary home will need to be found. The league has asked stadiums and venues in the the city to bid for the right to host a team.
Instead of pursuing the possibility of being a temporary home for a team, the Rose Bowl wants to host the Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival next June. While there would be no conflict between the festival and games, an environmental impact report prepared for the festival “specifically prohibits” the Rose Bowl from hosting NFL games. The Rose Bowl expects to earn $3 million in revenue in each of the next 20 years from the festival while they project revenues of $5-10 million per season as a temporary site for pro football.
“We believe that a music and arts festival is more fitting with Pasadena’s brand and with the future of the stadium,” Rose Bowl Operating Co. president and Pasadena City Council member Victor Gordo said. “With our desire to have certainty of finances of the stadium, and to have a world-class event that’s fitting of the city. The distraction that the NFL question poses at this time could take away from our collective efforts as a city to realize a music and arts festival. What you saw from the board today is we don’t want that distraction.”
It’s a prudent business decision for the Rose Bowl Operating Company, which runs the city-owned stadium. A steady revenue is much more important than a one-time payout in the world of business. They are also 100% correct that the NFL is not part of the “Pasadena brand” especially when you consider the team won’t be called the Pasadena Rams.
The decision also is part of a recent trend of calling into question the supposed economic benefits to a city that hosts a large sporting event. Many of the World Cup stadiums from South Africa and Brazil have sat mostly vacant since theirr construction, which came at a high cost to the hosts, and the city of Glendale’s mayor has publicly stated his preference to not host the Super Bowl.