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Salzer to Council: Don’t be Blinded by the NFL’s Bright Lights

Published on Monday, December 10, 2012 | 6:33 am

I’m going to assume that the vote taken two weeks ago to approve the DEIR will ultimately lead to the NFL entering into a contract with the city. Despite the unanimous objections of the four (4) neighborhood associations whose members will be most adversely impacted the
City Council voted for a quick financial fix. The city now has a moral obligation and the fiduciary responsibility to extract the best deal
possible. It is imperative that the following three (3) items be added to the inevitable contract.


This ordinance excludes the RBOC and the PCOC but adding it to the NFL contract will assure the residents of Pasadena that well paying
jobs with benefits will be available for all NFL games. This includes CES, Diamond Services and any and all jobs at the Rose Bowl.
The RBOC may not be able to afford a living wage agreement at this time but the NFL can.


A Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) is a contract signed by community groups and a developer or entity to provide specific
amenities and/or mitigations to the local community or neighborhood. In exchange the groups agree to publicly support the project, or at
least not oppose it.

The most important element of a CBA is its CBA committee which should consist of stakeholders that include resident
associations and non profits. A CBA is also a legally binding contract that can be enforced only by the parties that signed it.
The City and the RBOC should enter into a CBA with the NFL that will benefit the Linda Vista-Annandale Association, the San Rafael Neighborhoods Association, the West Pasadena Residents Association and the East Arroyo Residents Association.

Other groups would include the Linda Vista Park, Linda Vista School, a job training program at the Flintridge Foundation and the PUSD.

An alternative idea to consider is designating District 1 & 6 as a Community Benefit District (CBD). San Francisco did this in
2004 with great success. It generally takes about 25% of motivated homeowners within the district(s) to initiate the process with the city
managers office. This is the more complicated of the options but no contract with the NFL should even be considered without a CBA.


The NFL should invest whatever funds are necessary to offset the costs of additional patrols and traffic control to ensure of public safety
for residents and game attendees. For each game, the free sale of alcohol and the larger number of tailgating parties will no doubt require
increased patrols on the level of a January 1st Rose Bowl game. The PPD and RBOC shouldn’t bare the financial brunt of what may
require doubling the patrols and manpower necessary for public safety.

A uniformed police officer should also be stationed at every street closure to assist the Pasadena Explorers in keeping out of our
neighborhoods the non-residents looking for free parking. The Explorers do a great job but can often be intimidated by loud and
forceful non residents without out resident passes.

Before you shake your heads and say no, let me remind you of a few things.

The Rose Bowl is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. This isn’t Irwindale or the City of Industry. The usual 12 events will now morph into 25 major events per year.

This is a business and to do business in Pasadena, as anywhere else, will come at a cost.  If the NFL says that the City of Pasadena is going to make 5 million, 10 million dollars per year make no mistake about it; the NFL will make a lot more than that. A hell of a lot more than that!

The NFL wants to play here and to play they should have to pay. You can’t assess the cost of the adverse impacts on our quality of life,
on access issues to our own neighborhood as well as on the recreational activities at and around the Rose Bowl. All these will be disturbed, if not lost, for another 13 days of the year and I will tell you they are simply priceless. The Mayor and the City Council hold all the cards.
This is a Poker game. Don’t blink on this one.

If the NFL wants to use our incredible city as their temporary home, it would behoove our elected leaders to remember that this is our home, too. Furthermore they took a sworn oath of office to represent us in a fair manner and to protect our neighborhoods and their quality of life which are Pasadena greatest assets.

Let the attorneys dot the I’s and cross the T’s on a temporary contract with the NFL that will prove to the residents that you weren’t blinded by the bright lights of “NFL Star Power.”

At the end of the day, in so doing, the residents’ concerns finally become your concerns.


Robin Salzer is a local entrepreneur, former candidate for Pasadena City Council, City Commissioner and philanthropist.

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