First published in the Sept. 23 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
The Rose Bowl Stadium will receive a $500,000 preservation grant award as part of the Save America’s Treasures grant program, funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior.
As announced by the National Park Service (NPS), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the award to the Rose Bowl Stadium is part of a nationwide package funding 49 projects in 29 states. It is the first such award given to the Rose Bowl, which will celebrate its centennial birthday in 2022.
The funding, which was secured starting with an early 2021 application process through the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation (which is the Rose Bowl Stadium’s 501c3), will require a matching gift amount from private contributions. The grant award will be used at the stadium to support capital improvements at the venue, including the refurbishment and replacement of its gas line, as well as infrastructure upgrades relating to CAT6 wiring.
“The Rose Bowl Stadium is a community and cultural icon in Pasadena, and also a generational icon for millions around the world,” said Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo. “We are thankful for the support of this grant to continue solidifying the infrastructure of the venue.”
The White House Millennium Council teamed with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1998 to establish Save America’s Treasures. From 1999 to 2019, Save America’s Treasures has provided more than $339 million to more than 1,300 projects to provide preservation and conservation work on nationally significant collections, artifacts, structures and sites.
“As we approach our 100th birthday, the Rose Bowl Stadium continues to lead in providing a premier visitor experience in a safe, reliable and memorable manner,” said George Cunningham, the stadium’s chief operations officer. “This grant award will strengthen key infrastructure needs and is a testament to the continued dedication of the venue’s overall importance to society.”
The Rose Bowl Stadium was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987 by the National Park Service and the United States Department of the Interior. It has hosted two Olympic Games, five Super Bowls, two soccer World Cups, the annual Rose Bowl Game, and iconic concerts and festivals.
“From the Rose Bowl Stadium in California to Lucy the Elephant in New Jersey, the Save America’s Treasures program seeks to preserve and rehabilitate some of the most significant and iconic American structures and collections,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge.
Community leadership came out strong to support the grant effort, according to Darryl Dunn, CEO and general manager of the Rose Bowl Stadium. “The support that was provided by key stakeholders of the Rose Bowl Stadium was tremendous and we are very grateful for the support received during the application process from Pasadena Heritage, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Bill & Claire Bogaard, and Congress members Judy Chu and Adam Schiff. The Rose Bowl Stadium is a tremendous community asset and it is deeply appreciated that we received such great support.”
“We truly appreciate the recognition and trust given to the Legacy Foundation by the National Park Service to continue protecting, preserving and enhancing the Rose Bowl as a National Historic Landmark,” said Dedan Brozino, Rose Bowl Stadium chief development officer. “And as a community venue, we are incredibly grateful for community supporters that continue to see the success in this special venue through their help with this grant, and beyond.”
Requiring a dollar-for-dollar non-federal private match, Save America’s Treasures grants have leveraged more than $479 million in private investment and contributed more than 16,000 jobs to local and state economies. The awards announced for 2021 in the total amount $15.5 million will leverage more than $20 million in private and public investment.
“The federal grant landscape is extremely competitive, particularly in the past two years. The Rose Bowl Stadium’s grants team is pleased at the prioritization of these projects in its Save America’s Treasures program,” said the Legacy Foundation’s grant writer, Rhonda Poppen, of GRANTdog.