With stadium renovation costs continuing to climb, Rose Bowl officials decided on Tuesday to put off much of the work planned for 2013 until more funds become available.
But the project still faces a $30-million funding gap — a deficit officials hope to close by refinancing previous Rose Bowl bond debt.
Officials seek to raise $30 million for current Rose Bowl renovations by taking advantage of low interest rates and restructuring that debt while extending repayment another 20 years, Green said.
The move would require approval by the Pasadena City Council.
Rose Bowl Operating Co. President and Pasadena City Councilman Victor Gordo said stadium officials decided this week to defer some work, including a proposed field-level fan entrance, while charting a course to complete renovations without breaking the bank.
“We’re regrouping and rebooting the project in a way that’s responsible,” Gordo said. “We must reassure the council that we can be confident we can accomplish construction … within the financing parameters. I don’t know if we can do that with the bids as they are now.”
Gordo said prior cost overruns stemmed from a “perfect storm” of problems: unforeseen repairs to botched 1990s stadium upgrades, inaccurate records from past work on the 90-year-old stadium and increased labor costs for quickly completing the new seating pavilion.
Rose Bowl renovations, initially budgeted at $152 million, have reached a price tag of $194.8 million, stadium officials said Tuesday. The Rose Bowl Operating Co. has allocated up to $165.4 million in spending with only $134 million in hand, while deferring $29.4-million worth of work.
That $134 million does not include up to $4 million in anticipated revenue from the college football Bowl Championship Series game in January 2014, Green said, or $9 million in donation pledges raised by Legacy Connections, a private fundraising group. Legacy Connections aims to raise $20 million by 2014.
The latest deferrals came after bids received on Oct. 25 exceeded cost projections by Parsons Corp., which is supervising project construction.
Construction of a field-level fan entrance and related work was expected to cost $4.4 million, but bids came in between $5.3 and $7.9 million. Plans for $300,000 in landscaping were deferred after the lowest bid came in at $410,000.
The board previously put off renovation of concession stands and the stadium’s front entrance.
Board members on Tuesday approved a $3.1-million contract to build new broadcast equipment facilities and replace bathrooms demolished during construction of the new seating pavilion.
Board member Paul Little, also president of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, said it is difficult to understand why each of the four proposed bathrooms should cost more than building a new house.
Little cast the lone votes against delaying the field-level entrance and proceeding with the restroom work.
“We’re deferring highly visible aspects of the project promised to the community in favor of a couple of restroom buildings we were doing fine without,” Little said.
“It’s important for people to come here and see something different, other than a luxury box,” he added.
Officials said work on a field-level entrance would have to start immediately to end before a professional soccer game at the stadium in July. That work is now scheduled to start in January 2014.
“We’re not abandoning this or any other element,” Gordo said. “We’re saying let’s regroup and think about how we’re putting stuff out to bid.”