Parade, bowl games to bring big money

Local hotels, businesses already seeing an influx of out-of-town visitors.

December 31, 2009|By Christopher Cadelago

DOWNTOWN — Amid a local economy sacked by underperforming tax revenues, slumping home values and high unemployment, the biggest winners in the Rose Bowl and BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena won’t be taking the field.

The 121st Rose Parade and two post-season college football games are expected to produce an economic impact of $350 million to $400 million for greater Southern California, according to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and past economic studies.

“This has to be an economic pleasure for the Southern California region,” said Bill Flinn, chief operating officer for the Tournament of Roses. “This year there’s no doubt about the fact. You have two games, four out-of-state teams and a parade that drives hundreds of thousands of people to the area.”


A new rotating collegiate bowl system for the first time brings to Pasadena two major bowl games within a week of each other.

A further economic boon to the area comes in the fact that neither USC nor UCLA are competing in the games, said Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive of the Valley Economic Alliance.

He noted that not only are the competing colleges from outside Southern California, but the closest school is more than 800 miles away in Eugene, Ore.

“It’s huge,” said Ackerman, who served as the chief executive for chambers of commerce in the communities of San Fernando, Van Nuys and Pasadena. “Try to go online and get a hotel reservation in the five-county area.”

Organizers expect more 1 million people to flood the city of roses for the world’s most famous parade and sold out contests between teams from Oregon and Ohio, and Alabama and Texas.

The Rose Bowl stadium seats more than 90,000 fans.

While Burbank and Glendale are sure to be flush with visitors — swelling airports, hotels, restaurants and taxicabs — tourists are also expected to seek entertainment in the form theme parks, beaches, museums and shopping malls from Ventura County to San Diego, said Judee Kendall, president and chief executive of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.

“For many people it will be there first time in the area. They’ll be staying in the hotels, dining and shopping,” she said. “I think it will have a great impact.”

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