PASADENA, Calif. (June 7, 2005) -- The city's bid to lure an NFL team to the Rose Bowl has ended, leaving the Los Angeles Coliseum and a parking lot in Anaheim as the lone remaining candidates interested in landing a team.
The city council voted 5-1 to pursue a plan for the Rose Bowl that doesn't involve the NFL. The vote came early June 7 after nearly seven hours of debate in front of a standing-room only crowd of about 200.
Opponents of the NFL project, including Mayor Bill Bogaard, argued that a proposed $500 million renovation of the Rose Bowl would bring too much traffic, displace park users from the Arroyo Seco and threaten the historic status of the 83-year-old stadium.
The league has been considering the Rose Bowl for nearly three years. The Los Angeles area has been without an NFL team since the Rams left for St. Louis and the Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment.
The council will now pursue a different plan to secure the financial future of the Rose Bowl, which supporters of the NFL plan claim loses $2 million a year. The city partly uses money generated by the golf course adjacent to the stadium to cover those losses.
Bogaard, who believes the $2 million figure is a gross overstatement, has said there are other ways to make the required capital improvements to the stadium, which has a contract to host UCLA football games through 2023.
The NFL is also considering the Los Angeles Coliseum and Anaheim, but no decision is expected before the league settles collective bargaining and revenue sharing matters.
In May, Carson dropped out of contention when city officials decided to build a mall on its proposed site.