Rose Bowl, police officials taking extraordinary measures for upcoming U2 concert

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By Janette Williams, Pasadena Star-News Staff Writer

PASADENA - With just two weeks and a day to go before 96,000 fans of the legendary Irish rockers U2 descend on the Rose Bowl, preparations have intensified for the biggest music event in city history, General Manager Darryl Dunn said.

"We're heavy, heavy, heavy into U2," he said. "I've never seen such an intense effort on parking and traffic related to a special event...It's all being really hyped up. This particular date is a very important one on the tour and a really important show for the Rose Bowl, and everyone associated with it is trying to put their best foot forward."

The size and scope of the Oct. 26 concert - the largest on U2's world "360 Tour" - will be a test for the Rose Bowl.

"It will take a full six days of building before the stage is ready for the artists to come in and load their stuff," said Brian Murphy, a senior vice president with LA Music, local promoter of the event. "The top portion will be higher than the rim (of the Rose Bowl) and you'll be able to see it driving on the 134" Ventura Freeway.

The concert is expected to generate $300,000 to $400,000 for the Rose Bowl - 50 percent more than the average concert - because of the high attendance, Dunn said.

Now the main challenge is getting the word out early to let fans take advantage of special arrangements, and trying to keep neighborhood residents updated through flyers and a newsletter coming out Oct. 19, Dunn said.

Everything in the Rose Bowl area - Brookside Golf Club, the Aquatics Center and Kidspace Museum - will be closed down for the day. Parking will open at 8 a.m. and, Dunn stressed, no one without a concert ticket will be allowed into the area.
Special efforts also are being made to keep traffic flow smooth as the cars arrive, including personalized directions based on zip codes and pre-paid parking, now available on-line.

Starting at noon on concert day, park-and-ride shuttle buses will operate from Pasadena City College and the Parsons parking lot in Old Pasadena. Fans are being encouraged to make a day of it - car-pool, come early, and enjoy all the special events, including "Picnic in the Park" with live entertainment starting at noon, Dunn said.

"I've never heard anyone complain that they arrived at the Rose Bowl too early," he said.

Cmdr. Mike Korpalof the Pasadena Police Department, who is overseeing event operations, said planning has been going on for months.

"It will be a wonderful event, but the Rose Bowl is not without its issues," Korpal said. "It's a confined space in terms of access in and out and we've been putting in a great deal of planning, adding personnel ...and we won't have people parking willy-nilly in the neighborhoods."

The fact that U2 fans cover a "broad spectrum," trending to a more mature crowd could help, Korpal predicted.

"It's almost `message' rock," he said.

The neighborhood is prepared for the heavy traffic and loud music, said Lee Zanteson, president of the Linda Vista/Annandale Association.

"There's not a darn thing we can do about it," Zanteson said, laughing. "I hope it isn't quite as loud as Pink Floyd - you could hear them up at Angeles Crest and Foothill. I haven't decided, but I think I might just go somewhere. Ear plugs and closing the windows are no defense."

Zanteson said the association has been in a series of meetings with Rose Bowl and police officials on improving traffic flow and is hopeful the planning, pre-paid parking and extra parking personnel on the day of the concert will pay off.

The concert is the largest since the Rolling Stones performed at the Rose Bowl in 1993 before a crowd of about 65,000. The extra U2 seating is made possible by the stage configuration, Dunn said.

"U2 are arguably the most popular band in the world right now," said Dunn. "Their following is hyped and excitement is at fever pitch. I think because it's the Rose Bowl and it's here in Southern California, with our history, people are coming out of the woodwork."

For updated information, fans can check the Web site - www.rosebowlstadium.com/RoseBowl_U2-parking.htm.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on October 12, 2009 5:46 AM.

Religious groups put their faith in U2 was the previous entry in this blog.

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