For the first time in its 95-year history, the field at the Rose Bowl has a name.
Thanks to a $10 million donation from prominent UCLA alum Tod Spieker and his family, the playing surface will be called Spieker Field at the Rose Bowl for at least the next 25 years, it was announced Tuesday. The financial contribution kicks off a fundraising campaign that hopes to raise $40 million in the next five years leading up to the stadium's 100th birthday in 2022.
Representatives for the Rose Bowl are wary about treading too deeply into the naming rights world and prefer to refer to field's name as a donor recognition. There will be no mention of Spieker painted onto the field or outside the stadium -- only in select places inside, including on the hedges adjacent to both sides of the field.
"The Rose Bowl name is not for sale. The Rose Bowl marquee is not for sale. That's not what we're talking about here," said Dedan Brozino, the executive director of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, which leads fundraising efforts. "A lot of stadiums and venues look at the potential revenue streams that can be afforded to them through opportunities like this. We're the Rose Bowl.
"We didn't feel like commercializing ourselves or affiliating with a corporate partner was the right thing to do. There is a certain classiness and panache about the Rose Bowl. It's hallowed ground for over 100 million people."
In 2016, the Rose Bowl completed a $183 million multiphase renovation that built a new press box, added luxury seats and expanded the concourse among other additions, but in a competitive Los Angeles market, the Rose Bowl feels it needs to continue to improve. A brand-new NFL stadium is set to open in 2020, and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum recently began a $270 million upgrade.
The $40 million Rose Bowl officials hope to raise is earmarked for several projects, including improved lighting (cost estimated between $2.5 and $3 million) and replacing the outdated pink seats inside the stadium (estimated at about $10-11 million). They've also discussed improving the in-stadium WiFi, concessions and restrooms, along with a potential Rose Bowl museum.