PASADENA >> The Pasadena City Council Tuesday unanimously approved a concert from pop power couple Jay Z and Beyonce to take place in August.
The event is the 18th major event at the stadium the council has approved on the 2014 calendar. A city ordinance limits large scale events at the Rose Bowl to 12 per year, but the council can approve additional events as they come up.
The concert has yet to be officially announced by promoter Live Nation.
Jay Z is no stranger to the Rose Bowl, as he played a sold out show with Justin Timberlake last July and even gave the iconic stadium a shout out in his latest album.
And he's not alone in what officials called the “summer of music” at the Rose Bowl this year. The stadium already plans to host five other concerts this summer, with a three night One Direction and two night Rihanna and Eminem show scheduled for August and September. The Jay Z and Beyonce concert would be held Aug. 2, just a week before Rihanna and Eminem take the stage.
Officials said six concerts would be the most ever to take place at the stadium in a single year.
“Between 2001 and 2013 we had six concerts, and this year we have six concerts,” Rose Bowl CEO and General Manager Darryl Dunn said. “So why is that? One of the reasons is in music it seems like there is a phenomenon of artists teaming up and putting on one show. Historically that hasn't happened and we are the beneficiary of that. Another real big reason is ... the renovation. At the Justin Timberlake and Jay Z show we had a lot of really great compliments from the promoter and the music industry, which was great because that was a big reason why we did this.”
Music events are part of a new strategy Rose Bowl officials have said could raise enough revenue to take the controversial proposal to host a temporary NFL team at the stadium off the table. Officials also announced this month that they hope to start a weekend summer music festival at the Rose Bowl as early as next year.
The stadium recently underwent $155 million in renovations and will have completed a second $13 million phase of improvements by July 4. Officials said the renovations have taken the stadium to a new level and allowed it to attract new kinds of clientele. There is still about $14 million in unfunded renovation that the stadium has already promised to complete by 2018.
The stadium is also still working to pay off the debt taken on for the renovations over the next few decades.
Officials estimate each concert will earn approximately $400,000 in revenue and the stadium anticipates earning $2.4 million in revenues from all the non-football events this year.
Council members were generally supportive of the concert coming to the stadium for the recognition and the much-needed cash, but stressed the importance of working with the neighboring communities and the promoter to minimize the impact on the city, including noise and traffic.
The council received a letter from the Linda Vista-Annandale Neighborhood Association relaying concerns about the environmental impacts the concert could have on the treasured Arroyo Seco region that surrounds the bowl. The association also filed a lawsuit against the city to challenging the environmental report on the proposed NFL stay at the Rose Bowl. Although a judge ruled in favor of the city in the suit, the association has said it plans to file an appeal.
Council members remarked that the environmental work the city recently launched to study events in the Arroyo will facilitate a needed discussion.
“I think it will be a great opportunity for us to weigh all the points of view of how much is too much and how much is enough and how much money can we spend at the Rose Bowl,” Councilman Terry Tornek said.
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