September 12, 2012

Rose Bowl Scores a Touchdown

Rose Bowl Renovation Phase II Hits Midpoint

Improvements will create value and enhance visitor experience

PASADENA, Calif. – Just 224 days after demolition began of the Rose Bowl’s old press box and suites, and only 79 days after the completion of the structural steel of the new Pavilion, the Rose Bowl successfully hosted 71,500 fans for UCLA’s winning home-game opener against Nebraska. The Rose Bowl—America’s Stadium—showcased a Pavilion with 26 beautifully finished suites, an upgraded media area for 157 credentialed press and a completely new level dedicated to TV and radio broadcasting, instant replay booths, coaching staffs and a Public Safety Command Center.
Renovation of the iconic, 90-year-old national historic treasure is in its second of three phases and is on the fast track for completion in time for the 100th Rose Bowl Game plus the National Bowl Championship Series game, both scheduled for January 2014. The Rose Bowl Stadium is owned by the City of Pasadena and operated by the Rose Bowl Operating Company (RBOC).

Designed by early 20th Century architect Myron Hunt, the Rose Bowl is being renovated and upgraded in three phases over three years. The construction process is a collaborative effort led by Bernards|Barton Malow, in close collaboration with the RBOC, the City of Pasadena, trade contractors, the architectural firm of D’Agostino Izzo Quirk Architects (DAIQ), of Somerville, MA, the owner’s representative firm of Parsons, multiple design consultants and other consultants.

Construction Team Faced Multiple, Complex Challenges
One of the greatest challenges to the team has been to keep the stadium operational during construction, making the project’s deadline for completion significantly tighter. The Rose Bowl is home field for the UCLA Bruins Football Team and hosts soccer games, the annual Tournament of Roses Bowl Game (The Rose Bowl) as well as a monthly flea market, Fourth of July Celebration and other community events.

“Final planning and design did not get under way until almost the end of 2010, in November,” said Michael Cawlina, principal of the Bernards|Barton Malow joint venture. “Construction is largely prohibited from September through December during the football season. Out of the three years allotted, we actually have only 24 months to do the substantial construction work. The effort is enormous. And yes, we will definitely be ready in time.”

The tight schedule meant work on the new pavilion structure, improvements on the stadium’s concourse, replacement of key infrastructure, and the stadium’s ingress and egress, and seating, had to begin before the entire design process was completed. For example, construction began on the Pavilion’s foundations as soon as the foundation design was complete, during the off-season. The same head start was needed for the Pavilion’s superstructure and long-lead items, including the structural steel, elevators, escalators and premium seating areas.

Thinking Outside the Box for a Box-Inside-Pavilion Solution
The Challenge: Keep the old press box functioning until after the 2012 Rose Bowl Game but have the new Pavilion ready to accommodate the press, suite holders, media and broadcasters and achieve the “1,000 Seat Milestone” for the first UCLA home game of the 2012 season.

The Solution: “To meet the schedule, the team decided that the new Pavilion initially had to be constructed around the existing press box in advance of the 2012 Rose Bowl Game,” said Bernards|Barton Malow Project Manager Sean Hollister. The new Pavilion is much larger than the previous press box, allowing the construction team to construct the Pavilion’s foundations and erect its structural steel, which had to be procured early, around the existing press box—all between games and flea markets. “This was truly an extraordinary feat of coordination,” Mr. Hollister added. “It advanced the construction and successfully helped establish a realistic time line to complete the construction to accommodate 1,000 suite attendees prior to the 2012 football season.”

The completion of the suites, media area and broadcasting booth, along with the widening of four tunnels into the north of the stadium, four tunnels in the south, replacing the north video board, south scoreboard and adding an east scoreboard, replacing existing infrastructure, as well as reconfiguring and adding additional aisles and replacing seating, were accomplished
while overcoming many challenges, including, among others:

  • Lead paint
  • Deteriorating metal deck which had to be replaced
  • Structural support
  • Elevation issues between new and old structure

When completed, the facility will provide all the modern conveniences and amenities of a new stadium, along with the ambience of the original Rose Bowl.

Victory at Last!
Twenty-four weeks after the 2012 Rose Bowl Game, the team had demolished the old press box, completed the steel erection for the new pavilion, and started the finishes (storefront, plaster and painting) on suites in the southern portion of the Pavilion. Within 32 weeks, the team successfully completed the new Pavilion and was ready to host UCLA’s 2012 football season.

The comfort, structural, and technological improvements to the stadium are designed to enhance the fan experience with upgrades to the stadium structure, addition of exit aisles, widening of tunnels to improve pedestrian entry and exit, upgrades to entry gates, concessions, utilities and replacement of infrastructure to support the new amenities and services, installation of new scoreboards, a video board, and a new pavilion box with modern amenities, such as luxury suites, loge boxes, club seats and lounge areas.

In addition to the new pavilion, the 1940s era scoreboard on the south end has been recalled to its original design and new LED video and game information boards were installed on the north end and east stadium rim. Visitors attending current events are enjoying the improved entry and egress to and from the stadium, as four tunnels on the south end and four tunnels on the north end of the stadium were widened to improve crowd throughput and new aisles were added to enhance the exit of fans from the stadium. Completed work includes structural and infrastructure improvements, and a new utility loop.

“During football season, we phase work around UCLA games. Our construction crew often works around the clock to finish up projects and clean up prior to Rose Bowl events, so it doesn’t look like a construction site when fans arrive. We do the same for other events, to ensure the public a safe, clean and enjoyable environment when visiting the Rose Bowl,” said Bernards|Barton Malow Senior Project Manager Leah Jason.

Ms. Jason also noted that the new utility loop was constructed in 200-foot segments so work could be completed, trenches filled and asphalt placed prior to monthly flea markets. For the July 4th event, “the construction crew had to shut off the entire north end of the project, remove all combustibles for the event and put it all back afterwards,” Ms. Jason recalled.

“Working around scheduled events takes a lot of planning by the team as well as consistent communication with subcontractors to ensure everything comes off as well,” said Mr. Cawlina. “They work together like a well-rehearsed ballet, not missing a step. When the public moves out, our crews move back, quickly picking up where they left off.”

“The continuous interruptions slow down work progress, but we knew that going in and are committed to meeting our client’s expectations,” he explained, pointing out that thousands of people have visited the stadium since construction began.

About Bernards
Founded in 1974, Bernards is a nationally ranked, multidisciplinary commercial builder that provides technical expertise and outstanding professional services to developers, corporations, educational institutions and public agencies. Areas of expertise include comprehensive preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, program management, design-build, building information modeling (BIM), integrated project delivery (IPD) services, which integrate sustainable building practices. Bernards’ projects include sports and entertainment venues, health care facilities, mixed-use complexes, multifamily housing, and educational, detention, and civic facilities. Bernards maintains a continual focus on safety, quality, sustainability, diversity and community involvement. Headquartered in Los Angeles and growing rapidly, Bernards has regional offices throughout the Southwest and employs more than 250 professionals, many of them LEED® accredited. For more information, visit

About Barton Malow Company
Barton Malow Company provides construction management, design-build, program management,general contracting, technology and equipment installation services throughout North America. An industry leader in building information modeling (BIM) and integrated project delivery (IPD), the firm’s niche market specialties include industrial, healthcare, education, federal, sports/special events, and energy. Barton Malow has a staff of over 1,500 in 13 offices and is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan. Annual firm revenues exceed $1 billion. Barton Malow is an equal opportunity employer. For additional information visit or follow the firm on Twitter at