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Tough work but big payoff resetting Rose Bowl for BCS game

A worker cleans up the Rose Bowl stadium grounds on the day before the BCS Championship game.
A worker cleans up the Rose Bowl stadium grounds on the day before the BCS Championship game.
KPCC/Wendy Lee

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Two hours after Michigan State University beat Stanford at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday, it was show time for workers in charge of making the stadium ready for Monday’s BCS National Championship game.

Semi-trucks delivered large rolls of new grass that were later hoisted onto the field by forklifts and pieced together like a puzzle, said Darryl Dunn, CEO and general manager of the Rose Bowl Operating Co. The work took 20 hours.

Dunn said the new grass was meant to ensure a quality playing surface the championship game between Auburn and Florida State universities.

The field was also repainted, and the new grass added additional height, so goal posts were raised to meet game requirements, Dunn said. 

Dunn said there was also quite a bit cleaning up to do from the Rose Bowl game. 

“We had 95,000 people here a few days ago. We’re just making sure everything is cleaned up," Dunn said. "Every peanut shell, every piece of confetti.”

He said the amount of money the Rose Bowl spent on the preparations is still being calculated. But it's likely to be money well spent. 

Fans that come to college bowl games spend a lot of money on hotels, food and transportation.

This year, the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade brought in at least $306 million in economic benefits to the region, according to research firm Micronomics. The firm expects the BCS championship game will add at least $60 million more.

“It is a cherry on top because we already had the other benefits (from the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade) and now we get the benefit of having two new teams come with all of their fans,” said Roy Weinstein, managing director of Micronomics.

Besides the visitors coming for the game, Weinstein said there’s also an added benefit from the broadcast of the game. College football fans around the country will tune into the BCS Championship Game on television and when they see Southern California’s sunny weather, that might convince them to visit here in the future, Weinstein said.

“That’s an additional benefit we haven’t tried to measure,” he said.