- Peter Yoon, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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Phase one of the $152-million Rose Bowl renovation project is completed, meaning fans attending UCLA's home opener Saturday night against San Jose State will be greeted with a new look.
The most obvious change is the video board at the north end of the stadium which measure 78 feet wide and 30 feet tall. That's nearly 70 percent larger than the old video board, which , measured 28 feet by 26 feet. There is also a new scoreboard at the south end of the stadium constructed to mimic the scoreboard form the 1940's and several new advertising panels across the top of the stadium.
Some of the exit/entry tunnels and stadium aisles have also been widened in order to improve crowd circulation in the 92-year-old stadium.
“We have been following the progress of the renovation with great excitement,” said UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said in a statement. “We know the upgrades will make for a more enjoyable experience for our students, alums and other UCLA fans.”
There are still two phases to go in the renovation project, which won't be completed until he 2013 season begins. When completed, the Rose Bowl will feature new restrooms, additional concourse areas, increased concession stands and an expanded press box area which will include luxury suites.
The capacity of the Rose Bowl will shrink from 92,500 to 88,500, but the projects are intended to improve the fan experience inside the stadium, which, in its previous state, got crowded with lengthy waits at the exit tunnels, restrooms and concourse areas.