Rose Bowl Could Officially Name its Historic Gridiron After Major Donor

Stadium ‘finalizing’ major donation; new Jackie Robinson statue also planned

Published : Monday, July 10, 2017 | 9:09 PM

Top Rose Bowl executives reported to the City Council Monday evening that the stadium’s Legacy Connections campaign is ‘finalizing’ a $10 million gift to the stadium, which could result in the naming of the field.

According to Daryl Dunn, Rose Bowl Operating Company CEO, and Dedan Brozino, executive director for development, the gift is from “a private, respected philanthropist, with strong ties to the Rose Bowl, the City of Pasadena and Legacy, as a prior donor.”

The gift would be the stadium’s largest ever private donation.

Unlike other such namings, however, the name would not appear on the field itself, but on signage surrounding the field, said Dunn. The donor will be honored on several locations in the venue adjacent to the Rose Bowl Stadium’s field, including on the East and West historic field hedges, all corner end zone pads by the main entry tunnels to the field level, on 12 new heritage images on the concourse, and eight major stadium gate exits.

Dunn noted that re-naming of the Rose Bowl Stadium itself has not been seriously pursued.

“We’re trying to walk a fine line here,” said Mayor Terry Tornek, “using a university model as opposed to a ‘Qualcomm Stadium’ model.”

Tornek added, “I’m sure people might object to seeing more signage, but we are taking a measured and careful approach in raising money. The Rose Bowl will never be re-named.”

In addition, Brozino reported that Legacy has also secured a $400,000 philanthropic gift to support the creation and installation of a celebratory statue as a historical marker that “transcends and celebrates an important moment in Rose Bowl history.”

The first statue at the Rose Bowl Stadium, due to be completed by Fall 2017, will be of Pasadena icon Jackie Robinson.

The life-size statue will stand on the north tip of the parkway extension in front of the stadium’s Gate A, as part of a renovated and improved rose garden. The space will also include two reader rails to “promote the education and recognition of Jackie Robinson’s legacy to the Rose Bowl, Pasadena, PCC, UCLA, and American culture,” said the RBOC report.

Brian Hanlon of Hanlon Sculpture Studios was approved to createby the Legacy’s Board of Directors, as well as Jackie’s widow Rachel, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Robinson lived on Pepper Street with his family from 1922-1946. Legacy will also work with the City of Pasadena to add a plaque at the home of Jackie’s brother, Mack Robinson, said Brozino.

The Legacy campaign has so far raised $18.5 million in gross pledges and gifts through 2022, $16 million of which will go towards capital improvement projects, another $1.2 million towards the Area H Perimeter Project, and approximately $750,000 towards Legacy’s operation. As of December 2016, Legacy has transferred a total of $8.5M to the RBOC in support of capital improvement projects.

Dunn told the Council that Legacy is embarking on a three-to-five year campaign to raise $30-40 million in support of capital projects to celebrate the Stadium’s centennial birthday in 2022.

The campaign will provide new, private funding for several vital areas of need for the Rose Bowl Stadium. Significant capital improvements would include new Stadium Lights, new Stadium Seating, Wi-Fi , updated Stadium Safety Elements, updated Stadium Concession Stands and Bathrooms, and updates and key improvements to the Brookside Clubhouse.

 

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