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Rose Bowl renovations over budget by $20.3 million

December 14, 2011 | 10:30 am

Rose Bowl renovations over budget
An elaborate new press box at the Rose Bowl is costing $4 million more than expected, increasing the budget gap for renovations to $20.3 million, stadium officials said Tuesday.

The overall Rose Bowl renovation project is now expected to cost $160 million.

The lowest bid for the press box, which will include luxury suites for high rollers and will serve as many as 2,500 people, was a $38.9-million estimate from Clark Construction, said Darryl Dunn, Rose Bowl Operating Co. chief executive. Stadium officials had pegged the cost at around $35 million, the Pasadena Sun reported.

Dunn told members of the Pasadena City Council's Finance Committee that because of the increase, stadium leaders might hold back on $11.3 million worth of work scheduled for 2012, including widening tunnels, modifying the service yard and constructing 11 concession stands.

Council members expressed alarm that the deficit for the upgrade at the city-owned stadium continues to grow.

"I'm concerned we're on a slippery slope," said Councilman Chris Holden. "At what point do we say, 'Time out'"?

Councilman Victor Gordo, who is also president of the Rose Bowl Operating Co., said construction delays are just one option under consideration. He said he expected that private donations and increased revenues will help fill the gap.

The stadium is expected to raise $4 million from hosting one of college football's Bowl Championship Series games in 2014. And the Rose Bowl Legacy Campaign is tasked with raising $25 million. It has raised $3 million so far.

"We're comfortable with what we're seeing and what we're hearing back on future contributions," Gordo said.

Officials also hope to raise revenue by having the Rose Bowl host an NFL team for a few years, although no NFL team has committed to moving.

Michael Cawlina, project manager with Bernards/Barton Malow, said the revamp, which started in 2009 and is slated for completion in 2014, is now at the bottom of the slide when it comes to budgetary surprises. He said the gap is not expected to grow again.


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Photo: Crews work on remodeling the Rose Bowl's press box in Pasadena last month. The project is now projected to cost $160 million. Credit: Raul Roa / Times Community News