Rose Bowl rattles and hums in preparation for U2 show

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By Janette Williams, Pasadena Star-News Staff Writer

PASADENA - With major construction underway on transforming the Rose Bowl's interior for Sunday's U2 concert - the largest in the Irish rockers' and stadium history - the buzz is building, General Manager Darryl Dunn said Wednesday.

"This is the only event I remember getting this kind of hype," Dunn said. "I knew U2 was a popular band, but I didn't know it was like this. Once in a while, not often, you know something's going to be big, but this is in the stratosphere."

You'd have to go back to the 1994 World Cup final or the classic 2006 Bowl Championship Series game between USC and Texas to get the same sense of building excitement, Dunn said.

And, he said, an almost unprecedented amount of planning has gone into Sunday's sold-out event, which will bring 96,000 fans to the Rose Bowl, starting when parking opens at 8 a.m.

More than 150 staff, including police, traffic officers and cadets, will be there to keep
traffic as smooth-running as possible, said Cmdr. Mike Korpalof the Pasadena Police Department, who is overseeing event operations.

"We've taken the opportunity to post signs and directions right on the barricades - we've used them in previous events and found it reduced conflict" with motorists, Korpal said Wednesday. Explorer Scouts manning the barriers have been given some additional training on how to deal with residents and others who "might be a bit demanding in forcing their will," Korpal said.

Street closures will be much the same as for other large Rose Bowl events, he said, although there will be additional street postings, and minor streets in Linda Vista and the east side of the arroyo could be impacted by temporary closures. Parking may also be limited to one side of the street to allow emergency vehicles access, Korpal said.

Most of all, Dunn and Korpal said, they are hoping people will heed their advice to make a day of it.

The day will go smoother if people come early for pre-concert entertainment, pre-pay parking on-line, carpool, or use public transportation and shuttles.

"The (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) has agreed to extend its hours" for departing concert-goers, Dunn said, adding that the Rose Bowl and local promoters LA Music had split the $10,000 cost.

"Car-pooling is an important as anything," Dunn said. "Four people per car rather than three people can mean 8,000 fewer cars - which is a sold-out Lakers game. It will make the experience so much better for everyone."

For fans who missed out on U2 tickets - which sold out in a few hours when they went on sale in late March - there's an alternative, Dunn said.

"For the first time ever, a concert is going out live on YouTube," Dunn said. "It will be going around the world, so it's not only going to showcase the Rose Bowl, but Pasadena and all of Southern California. It's another platform to the world."

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Copyright © 2009 Los Angeles Newspaper group

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on October 22, 2009 6:00 AM.

Making the U2 set so big that it's invisible was the previous entry in this blog.

Glitches, technology and tears pepper U2's Las Vegas legacy is the next entry in this blog.

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