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NFL at Rose Bowl would increase traffic, noise: environmental report

August 10, 2012 | 11:01 am

The Rose Bowl.

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 for up to five years, but the severest results would be temporary and manageable, according to a report released by the city of Pasadena Thursday.

The environmental report is part of a process to prepare for the possibility of hosting an NFL team for up to five years while a permanent stadium is built elsewhere in the region. Officials decided to go ahead with an environmental report on the chance that a team will want to relocate to Southern California and use the Rose Bowl, a decision that is up to the National Football League and the team that would move to Los Angeles area.

The proposal is controversial. 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 also in the middle of a $179-million renovation, and officials say there is a roughly $30-million gap between the 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, starting as early as the 2013 season. But it’s ultimately up to the Pasadena City Council to weigh the pros and cons of playing host to a football team.

“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 the football 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 to deal with the cars.

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


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Photo: The Rose Bowl. Credit: Los Angeles Times