ICYMI: Jill Painter’s story on the Rose Bowl’s renovation and its scheduled completion.

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By Jill Painter, Staff Writer

PASADENA – The college football season doesn’t kick off until later this month, but the $175 million Rose Bowl renovation project already has hit crunch time.

There are 23 working days remaining before UCLA’s Sept. 8 home opener against Nebraska, and Darryl Dunn, the general manager for the Rose Bowl Operation Co., is confident the stadium will be ready then.

Jackhammers, drills, cranes and empty spaces make it look like it will be anything but ready for college football.

The million-dollar question is: Will the Rose Bowl be ready for the opening day? Dunn and project supervisors get asked all the time.

“Oh, yes,” Dunn said. “The intention for this season is that we’ll have about one-third of it that needs to be done in order for us to accomplish what we need to accomplish. The whole thing won’t be complete. But the necessities, in terms of all of the operations for broadcasting, public-safety areas, media, premium seat holders that have existing contracts, we have enough and feel very good about our schedule.”

As of Friday, the project was five days behind schedule on the pavilion – which is home to the luxury suites, broadcast booths, press box, coaching booths and other requirements for games. Construction crews ran into delays because of unexpected hazardous materials like lead paint.

Only 35 percent of the pavilion needs to be completed, per guidelines of the three-phase renovation project, by the season opener, according to Dunn. During the days between games, construction crews will continue to work Monday through Thursday to have the pavilion ready for the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl.

Chris Pomey, the superintendent of the renovations, said the renovations will be ready Aug. 31, nine days before the first game, so the final week can be about moving furniture and such for games.


In order to be football-ready, crews are working from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. There are an estimated 250-280 workers on site daily, according to Pomey.

The city has approved the late-night shifts.

“We anticipate hard work in August,” Dunn said. “We’ve talked with our project management and they feel great. Come UCLA-Nebraska, people are going to be impressed by what they see.”

Pomey is calm, so Dunn takes cues from him. Pomey worked on the Michigan Stadium renovation project, which is similar to the Rose Bowl’s renovation. Pomey is from Ann Arbor, Mich., and was wearing a Michigan polo under his fluorescent yellow construction vest last week.

He also carries an iPad in the back pocket of the construction vest which has the layout plan and all of the deadlines his crews need to meet.

There was no panic around the site Friday. One worker was humming “Close to You” by the Carpenters, and there was a big smiley face imprinted on a wall in the north end of the press box that will be closed until January.

“This is common for us,” Pomey said of the state of the project. “Any phased project we do, we’re accustomed to the project being this way. We build our schedules based on this.”

Permanent power is scheduled to be ready Aug. 13.

On Sept. 6, crews will complete a major cleanup and safety inspection. A fire chief toured the facility last week. Pomey told him all would be clean and up to code by the time fans will be walking through those tunnels.

On game days, there will be plumbers and electricians on hand in case problems arise in the pavilion.

There are some luxury suites that already have bamboo flooring, granite counter tops and cabinets installed. Some don’t have any of those things.

There are 1,000 premium seats under contract to be done for this season, but Pomey said he believes they will have more than 1,000 seats ready for use.

The Rose Bowl will feature seating outside of the luxury suites, much like those at Staples Center. Those benches are created, but there are no chairs there yet.

The first two stories of the pavilion are concrete to keep the historic look of the stadium, so fans will be used to that.

Right now, it looks very much like a major construction project.

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  • VB

    Why is it that Stanford was able to tear down and rebuild an ENTIRE STADIUM in one offseason, but it is taking the Rose Bowl 3 years to renovate a press box?

    As long as they fix the damn sound system. From our seats in Row 72 under the press box, we can never hear the P.A.

    This must be Dan Guerrero’s fault!

  • Sleepy LaBeef

    “The intention for this season is that we’ll have about one-third of it that needs to be done in order for us to accomplish what we need to accomplish.” Huh? Would you trust somebody who can utter a sentence like that with your construction project?

    @VB: it’s way easier and quicker (not to mention less expensive) to do a complete teardown and rebuild, as opposed to renovating an existing, aging structure. Can’t blame Guerrero for this one, but a complete teardown/rebuild should have been done with Pauley.

  • Anonymous

    VB, once again your ignorance is on display. The Rose Bowl is a listed national historic landmark. It cannot be torn down like the Stanford’s old stadium.

    Sleepy, The one-thrid comment is actually poor reporting. The new Rose Bowl Pavilion (i.e Press Box) was never intended to be competed before the beginning of this season. The Rose Bowl Renovation project was planned to be done over three off-seasons so UCLA did not have to do what Cal did last season as Strawberry Canyon was being renovated (they played all home games at AT&T Park) or the basketball team’s road show last season while Pauly was under renovation. As was noted in Jill’s article, all the necessary broadcasting and press facilities will be completed. The one-third completion is actually a reference to the new luxury seating. On-third of the suites and club seats will be completed, which from what I have read, is more than enough to meet preseason sales.

  • VB

    Hey Anon, learn to read, I never said that the Rose Bowl should be torn down. My point was that it took 9 months to tear down and build a new stadium for Stanford, yet it is taking 3 years to renovate a press box. Where the hell did I suggest that the Rose Bowl should be torn down?


  • OC Bruin

    I just saw that Chris Ward medically retired. If that’s true, that is awful. We just can’t get a break on the O-line.

  • VB’s Idiot aka Anon at 9:31

    You are correct. You didn’t say the Rose Bowl should be torn down. You compared the time it takes to tear down and completely rebuild a stadium versus renovation of a historic landmark. Obviously, a tear down was never a consisderation for the Rose Bowl and a renovation of this magnitude is far more complex than a tear down and replace. Did Stanford have to deal with as-built blueprints that date back to the 1920’s? How about hazardous materials? Public financing? There are so many differences in these two projects that to compare them is equally ignorant. Why not be more positive and note that this project is being done without interrupting any home games, whereas Cal had to spend a season playing in a baseball stadium?

    Your turn…

  • VB

    Why not submit a source for this, OC Bruin?

  • VB

    VB’s idiot. I am not grateful or positive for anything.

    I am not feeling positive about once again having to enjoy home games in a dust-infested construction zone.

    I’m not feeling positive about the foot traffic into and out of my tunnel because of the other tunnels being closed.

    I’m not feeling positive about once again having to take a post-game sh!t in port-a-potties instead of a real restroom.

    I’m not feeling positive about the fact that this renovation is inconveniencing the 99% of fans who do not get the luxury of sitting in a suite and enjoy the bulk of the renovation.

    I am not feeling positive about the stupid new scoreboard that is impossible to read at night unless you have 20/20 vision.

    I am not feeling positive about the non-improvements in the sound systems after this $450 trillion renovation.

    Most of all, I am not feeling positive about the raised donation levels and ticket prices even though UCLA football has not won a major bowl game in 15 years.

    Should I go on?

  • dawgpack

    Don’t go then… You gotta basketball team to root for dont ya.

  • VB 12:20, the next post after this, Miguel confirms that Chris Ward will take a medical retirement.

  • Just Think

    IF Brett Favre was working out with Noel Mazzone…and IF Kalil Bell came back for a visit…then Bell could be catching passes from Favre out of the backfield!

  • VB’s Idiot

    Hey VB, I apologize for pointing out your negativity. It must be difficult for you to get through each day when you can only see the glass is half empty. There is a very simple solution to all the grief you get going to UCLA football games…STOP GOING! I am sure the athletic department will not collapse from losing the revenue it generates from you and your tailgating buddies, the people who sit around you will probably be grateful to get a true fan sitting near them as opposed to a complainer, and you will be able to eliminate all this pent-up anger you have for UCLA and the Rose Bowl.

  • Peter

    VB, you fool, have you ever been to Stanford’s stadium? I have several times and the upper levels are cheap metal that rattles when fans stomp on them! The Rose Bowl has much more substance and therefore will take longer to renovate.

  • Revenge of Charlie Bucket

    who cares about the renovations… RB is never full anyways