The Rose Bowl

The Rose Bowl Stadium executive leadership team is, from left, is Dedan Brozino, chief development officer; Monique Rodriguez, senior sales director;  Jens Weiden, general manager/chief executive officer; George W. Cunningham, chief operations officer; Nancy Silver, chief compliance officer and Mo Salama, controller.

The Rose Bowl Stadium will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year and Jens Weiden is stepping in as general manager/chief executive officer in time to prepare for the venue’s “party of the century.”

“I think right now is a very interesting time for the Rose Bowl,” said Weiden, who transitions from the Rose Bowl Operating Company’s chief revenue officer to the new role on Friday, July 1.

“It will be important in my new role that I focus on listening to stakeholders and help tell the story of how we can ensure that America’s Stadium is relevant for another 100 years. It’s also a time of challenge. We’re a 100-year-old building and we have to stay relevant in the most competitive stadium market in the world.”

Among the competition is Dodger and SoFi stadiums. Weiden said it’s imperative to work hard to ensure Rose Bowl Stadium will be around and utilized for another century. 

“I love the setting here,” he said. “That’s what sets us apart from SoFi and other big buildings in town. We’re not going to out SoFi SoFi. SoFi wishes they had the beautiful setting here. We have 300 acres of beautiful park land in the middle of the central arroyo. 

“It’s something SoFi would never be able to replicate. The backdrop here is beautiful. That is the space we manage, and it was a no-brainer for me to take this job.”

The Rose Bowl Stadium, in coordination with the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, will celebrate its anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 13, with the “Party of the Century.” 

Weiden is replacing retiring general manager/chief executive officer Darryl Dunn. He is looking forward to working in a larger capacity with the stadium by bringing a new voice “that can speak toward the future.

“I am truly honored to continue to build upon the 27-year legacy that Darryl established, supported by an unbelievable team of professionals throughout the RBOC organization. We will work collaboratively with the mayor, city council, city manager and all Pasadena residents to ensure that the Rose Bowl campus remains a world-renown destination and point of pride for the community. I am grateful to the RBOC’s board of directors’ confidence in my abilities and leadership, and I am eager to begin the next chapter in our storied history.”

Steve Haderlein, the RBOC board of directors’ president, said the governing body asked Dunn to develop a deep pool of executive staff to ensure that a transition would go smoothly — and it paid off.

“We are thrilled that we can stay within the organization as Jens has proven to be invaluable in so many ways during his tenure in Pasadena,” Haderlein said.

“We are excited about what the future holds and are confident that Jens, and our entire senior team and staff, will lead us to even greater heights.”

Weiden was raised in Sandpoint, Idaho, a small town of 6,000 in the northern area of the state. He attended St. Mary’s College of California, where he played two seasons of baseball. He wrapped up his college sports career with rugby. 

He continued his love of baseball by working with Giants Enterprises as marketing manager, promoting all nonbaseball events at then-AT&T Park. 

In 2013, he jumped at the chance to work in one of the “more iconic buildings in the world.” 

“It’s an amazing gathering place for Pasadena and Southland,” Weiden added.

During his tenure as chief revenue officer, Weiden has led a team who has increased enterprise event revenue by over 500%. 

Under his leadership, the Rose Bowl campus held events deemed safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Weiden has also been leading the Rose Bowl Stadium Premium Seating & Sponsorship teams and has attracted top musical acts and sporting events to America’s Stadium.

He, his wife, Ventura native Raelene, and 1-year-old son moved to the Pasadena area about nine years ago. Now the couple have two children. 

Weiden said Dunn has been a “great leader and a great mentor” at the Rose Bowl Stadium. He described Dunn as someone who’s respected by clients, neighbors and politicians. 

“I’m happy to take off where he left off,” he said. 

“Darryl is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met. He has almost zero pride when it comes to his relationships. He handed over his whole contact list and said, ‘All my people are your people. You just call and tell them you work with me.’ A lot of leaders hold on to their contacts. He never did that. It’s indicative of the person he was here.”

He said Dunn is planning a vacation upon retirement. Time off is usually not in the cards.

“There’s one thing that Darryl is terrible at and that’s taking time off,” Weiden said with a laugh. 

“He’s going to do a trip to Europe and meet up with his son who is biking across Europe. I’m excited for him. Darryl’s given so much to this place. He deserves to have a good time and enjoy his retirement. He’s looking forward to his next chapter. In our industry, he’s one of the most respected venue people. I think Darryl will be as busy as Darryl wants to be.” 

But Weiden isn’t taking over on his own. He is excited about his team. 

“What excites me most about this opportunity is the quality of the team here at the Rose Bowl Operating Company,” he said.

“From leading our industry with drive-in programing during the pandemic to creating the best music festival site in LA County our staff is made up of some of the best in the business. Getting the chance to work next to these leaders is very exciting.”