Multi-Million Dollar Donation Could Add Donor's Name to Rose Bowl Field

The money is part of a larger fundraising campaign named "inspire"

On Monday night, the Pasadena City Council votes to move ahead with a proposal that would in part accept a $10 million donation. The catch? The donor’s name would grace areas surrounding the field area as a sponsor, but not everyone is happy about this.

Rose Bowl officials say it's the largest donation of its kind and may help garner generous donations in the future. The money is part of a larger fundraising campaign named "inspire." It is leading up to the stadium’s 100 year birthday in 2022.

The Rose Bowl stadium is no stranger to some branding. The proposed naming rights of the field selling for a one-time $10 million donation. The deal will last 25 years.

The donor Tod Spieker is a Silicon Valley real estate investor, UCLA alum and Rose Bowl game fan. But Spieker’s name isn’t actually even going on the field.

"We are going to put his [Tod Spieker’s] name and his family’s name on the hedges on sideline level," Dedan Brozino of the Rose Bowl’s Legacy Foundation said.

A non-profit group was created to manage the fundraising efforts and Brozino says the large sum kicks off a new 5-year-long, $40 million campaign.

Laurence Todd, president of the Pasadena Sports Hall of Fame, says it costs somewhere between $500-700,000 to manage the field, maintenance, crews and more.

"You take 10 million divided by 25 its about 400 thousand dollars. Is the field worth more than 400 thousand dollar for a naming right every year?" Todd asked.

NBC4 examined the report the Rose Bowl operating company sent to the Pasadena city council. Some of the improvements needed include new stadium lights priced at nearly $2 to 3 million and Wi-Fi priced at approximately $6 million.

The report says the gift would also fund an annual scholarship award to a senior Pasadena student and other community events. But ultimately, the funds are earmarked for capital improvements. When asked about another $10 million or even larger donation Brozino said: "No promises to others that come down the road." 

At least two community events for kids are already in the works. Giving back to the community is expected to be part of donations. However there is no guarantee that will happen because the donor must approve any use of the funds for community or educational purposes.

There are no plans to put any corporate name on the stadium itself even though that could mean losing potential revenue.

Click here to view the agenda report's attachments. 

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