Portantino’s Historic Performance Venue Bill Signed into Law by Governor

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Senator Anthony Portantino (Photo by Ross A Benson)

 Senate Bill 96, authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank), was signed into law by Governor Newsom. The bill allows a portion of sales and use taxes generated by historic performance venues to be reinvested back into those sites for restoration, maintenance and other capital improvements.   

“California is the proud home to many large historic entertainment and sports venues, such as the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, which I am proud to represent,” stated Senator Portantino. “The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and the Cal Memorial Stadium in Berkeley are two others. These venues have been critical to California’s culture and economy for over a century. In order to keep them thriving, we need to invest in them so they can continue to do what they do best – entertain and enlighten us. I appreciate the Governor’s support for the performing arts and the healthy communities it creates.”

Historic venues in California are in desperate need of reinvestment in infrastructure, environmental sustainability, patron safety, preventative maintenance and accessibility. In addition, to retain a status as a National Historic Landmark, there are significant compliance requirements for each venue.  

Recognizing impacts on the state budget, SB 96 was crafted as to not seek allocations from the state’s General Fund to support the preservation of these venues.  Instead, it utilizes the sales and use tax revenue generated by the live events to reinvest back into each respective venue’s infrastructure.

“Senate Bill 96 is both an affirmation of the positive impact that historic sports and entertainment venues have on their local economies, and a testament to the hard work of Senator Portantino in moving this bill through with the support of his colleagues,” stated City of Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo. “For more than a year, I have been in communication with Governor Newsom, Senator Portantino, and others to discuss the significance of supporting our state’s iconic venues and the need to ensure a safe and secure Rose Bowl Stadium for generations to come. Those discussions ultimately led to Senator Portantino’s proposal of SB 96. I am proud that the City of Pasadena has once again led the way and that SB 96 will allow state historic venues to reinvest in their infrastructure and continue to bring people and communities together.”

“The Rose Bowl Stadium is extremely grateful to Governor Newsom for signing SB 96 into law and to Senator Portantino for his sponsorship and strong stewardship of this critical legislation,” said Jens Weiden, CEO/GM of the Rose Bowl Stadium. “In addition to SB 96 sending a strong signal of the importance of major historic sports and entertainment venues throughout the state including the Rose Bowl Stadium, it will create much-needed new revenue in the years ahead to strengthen the Stadium’s infrastructure and enhance its safety and security for future generations. With the Olympic Games returning to Pasadena for a third time in 2028, the expanded College Football Playoff, UCLA’s entry into the Big Ten Conference, and world-class soccer and musical events, there has never been a better time to be a part of America’s Stadium!”

A “historic venue” is defined as a venue in the state that meets certain criteria, including that the contains a structure built before 1940, contain a structure officially designated by the United States National Park Service or the United States Department of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark, or one that is located at a site continuously used for live, ticketed events for more than 50 years.