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Historic Rose Bowl stadium

Governor Newsom Signs Senate Bill 96, Supporting the Rose Bowl Stadium and Statewide Historic Venues

October 10, 2023

Senate Bill 96, authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D-Burbank) and referred to as the Historic Venue Restoration and Resiliency Act, was formally signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom on October 8, 2023.

Authored by Senator Anthony Portantino, the bill will provide key annual infrastructure funding to reinvest in the future of America’s Stadium

PASADENA, Calif. (October 10, 2023) Senate Bill 96, authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D-Burbank) and referred to as the Historic Venue Restoration and Resiliency Act, was formally signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom on October 8, 2023. The bill, which has been championed by the Rose Bowl Stadium and Legacy Foundation over the past several months, will provide a portion of sales and use taxes generated at the Rose Bowl Stadium on major event days to be reinvested back into the site for restoration, infrastructure, safety, security, and maintenance purposes. The bill met zero ‘no’ votes during its consideration throughout the State Senate, Assembly, and several review committees. 

“Senate Bill 96 is both an affirmation of the positive impact that historic sports and entertainment venues have on their local economies, and a testament to the hard work of Senator Portantino in moving this bill through with the support of his colleagues,” stated City of Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo. “For more than a year, I have been in communication with Governor Newsom, Senator Portantino, and others to discuss the significance of supporting our state’s iconic venues and the need to ensure a safe and secure Rose Bowl Stadium for generations to come. Those discussions ultimately led to Senator Portantino’s proposal of SB96. As the Mayor of our great city, I am proud that the City of Pasadena has once again led the way and that SB96 will allow state historic venues to reinvest in their infrastructure and continue to bring people and communities together.”

“California is the proud home to many large historic entertainment and sports venues such as the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, which I am proud to represent,” stated Senator Portantino. “The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and the Cal Memorial Stadium in Berkeley are two others. These venues have been critical to California’s culture and economy for over a century. In order to keep them thriving we need to invest in them so they can continue to do what they do best – entertain and enlighten us.  I appreciate the Governor’s support for the performing arts and the healthy communities it creates.”

Historic sports and entertainment venues of a certain size in California have needed reinvestment towards infrastructure, environmental sustainability, patron safety, preventative maintenance, and accessibility. In addition, to retain status as a National Historic Landmark and keep up with modern-day safety standards and expectations, there are significant compliance requirements.

Recognizing impacts on the budget, SB 96 did seek allocations from the state’s General Fund to support the preservation of these venues. Instead, it will utilize the sales and tax revenue generated by their live events to reinvest back into each respective venue's infrastructure.

“The Rose Bowl Stadium is extremely grateful to Governor Newsom for signing SB 96 into law and to Senator Portantino for his sponsorship and strong stewardship of this critical legislation,” said Jens Weiden, Chief Executive Officer / General Manager of the Rose Bowl Stadium. “In addition to SB 96 sending a strong signal of the importance of major historic sports and entertainment venues throughout the state including the Rose Bowl Stadium, it will create much-needed new revenue in the years ahead to strengthen the Stadium’s infrastructure and enhance its safety and security for future generations. With the Olympic Games returning to Pasadena for a third time in 2028, the expanded College Football Playoff, UCLA’s entry into the Big Ten Conference, and world-class soccer and musical events, there has never been a better time to be a part of America’s Stadium!”

A "historic venue," as defined in SB 96, is a venue in the state that meets specific seating capacity criteria. This includes having a structure built before 1940, being officially designated by the United States National Park Service or the United States Department of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark, or being located at a site that has been continuously used for live, ticketed events for more than 50 years.  With the Governor’s signature, the bill will have a five-year period before its sunset or potential extension.

“This is huge,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “The Governor signing SB 96 into law clearly shows that we are ready to invest in keeping our vibrant historic venues refreshed and ready to serve anyone who attends a show, watches a game, or enjoys a live performance in our County. Undeniably, time and use take their toll on our historic venues. We must be intentional about keeping them well-maintained, secure, and safe for all. I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Locally, SB 96 received support from the City of Pasadena and Mayor Gordo, Congressman Adam Schiff, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, Los Angeles Galaxy, the City of Pasadena Fire Department, Pasadena Heritage, the Pasadena Center Operating Company, and the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.  It also received broader support from the Hollywood Bowl / LA Philharmonic Association, University of Southern California, Cal Berkeley Athletics, San Jose State University Athletics, Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC), League of California Cities, and Los Angeles Council Member Nithya Raman.

“The Rose Bowl Stadium and the other qualifying venues for SB 96 have become tremendous symbols of togetherness and community over the past century,” said Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation President, Dedan Brozino.  “The Legacy Foundation is so grateful to everyone involved for continuing to memorialize the importance of America’s Stadium as a multi-generational venue that is deserving of continued preservation, protection and enhancement as we continue our second century.”

Mayor Gordo expresses gratitude, stating, "On behalf of the City of Pasadena, we are thankful to the Governor, Senator Portantino, Assemblyman Holden, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, and all those who made today possible.”