TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PRESS RELEASE
One of America’s oldest and most cherished New Year’s traditions will be maintained in 2021, albeit in a different locale, thanks to a cooperative agreement reached between the Tournament of Roses, which runs and operates the game, and the City of Pasadena, which owns the famed Rose Bowl Stadium where it is traditionally played.
In 2015, the Rose Bowl Game became one of six annual bowl games that rotate as a venue of a four-team College Football Playoff. This year’s Rose Bowl Game was scheduled to host one of two CFP semifinal games, but as Southern California experienced a wave of COVID hospitalizations and imposed tighter restrictions on public events, including a ban on fans in the stands, the CFP elected to move the 2021 scheduled game in Pasadena to AT&T stadium in Arlington, TX, which will be allowed to operate with spectators up to 25 percent capacity. Today’s agreement allows for a one-year amendment to the Master License Agreement that governs the relationship between the Tournament and the City, and means that the relocated CFP Semifinal will maintain the 107-year tradition of the Rose Bowl Game.
“While the Tournament of Roses has the right to play the Rose Bowl Game in an alternate venue this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt it was important to do so in consultation with the City of Pasadena,” said Tournament of Roses Executive Director and CEO David Eads.
The game will mark only the second time that the Rose Bowl Game has been moved from its traditional Pasadena home; the first time was shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The 1942 Rose Bowl Game took place in Durham, N.C.
“While this year has not been what we anticipated, we commend the residents of Pasadena for sharing the gift of the ‘Granddaddy of Them All’ with football fans across the country, and we look forward to returning to the iconic stadium next year – because the home of the game is, and always will be, Pasadena,” said Tournament of Roses Executive Director and CEO David Eads.
Eads emphasized that the Tournament of Roses has done everything it could to keep the game in Pasadena. “We had held firm to keep the game in Pasadena, even if it had to be played without fans,” he said. “As recently as two weeks ago, we believed the game would be played in the Rose Bowl Stadium. But as COVID cases increased, ICUs filled, and we couldn’t be assured that even player injuries could be adequately treated if necessary, we had to accept the CFP’s decision to temporarily relocate the game.”
Officials for the Tournament emphasized that various aspects of the telecast, as well as the pre-game publicity, would emphasize the game’s historical and continuing identity with Pasadena. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
In addition, in an effort to help offset expenses and lost revenues resulting from the Game not being played in Pasadena, the Tournament of Roses will contribute $2 million to the City.
Eads noted that enabling student-athletes’ families to attend the game, along with thousands of fans, was especially important to the coaches and athletic directors of many universities. “Of course we wanted the game to stay in Pasadena,” Eads said, “but we look forward to maintaining the long tradition of America’s oldest bowl game, which will, in the long run, benefit Pasadena and football fans everywhere.”