Friday’s Rose Bowl Game won’t be in Pasadena, but it’ll still be the Rose Bowl.
The city of Pasadena and the Tournament of Roses, which own the name “Rose Bowl,” announced Wednesday they have officially agreed to allow the moniker to be used for the Alabama-Notre Dame matchup, which will be played in Arlington, Texas.
The College Football Playoff game was moved out of Pasadena after the state refused to allow any fans to attend the game due to surging COVID-19 cases. It will mark only the second time the Rose Bowl hasn’t been played in Pasadena, the first occurring following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, prompting a move of the game to Durham, North Carolina.
“While this year has not been what we anticipated, we commend the residents of Pasadena for sharing the gift of the `Granddaddy of The 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,” Tournament of Roses Executive Director/CEO David Eads said.
When the game’s move was announced, the question then arose of whether it would still be known as the Rose Bowl, since it wasn’t being played at the Rose Bowl Stadium. Despite no formal decision being made, media outlets have continued referring to the matchup as the Rose Bowl, and players and coaches preparing for the game have been sporting Rose Bowl logos.
But Wednesday’s announcement makes it official, with the game now formally known as the “CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Capital One.”
The city of Pasadena issued a statement again called the move of the game “disappointing,” and insisted it won’t easily happen again.
“Unprecedented is truly an understatement,” according to the city. “That is why the city of Pasadena has agreed to allow the Tournament of Roses to relocate the official Rose Bowl Game in 2021. The Rose Bowl Game will not relocate again from Pasadena, unless it is forced to due to a national emergency.
“The values, the prestige and the meaning of the Rose Bowl Game remain uniquely Pasadena’s and it would be a disservice to the thousands of volunteers and residents if future games were to be considered for relocation. We look forward to welcoming the Rose Bowl Game and Tournament of Roses parade back to Pasadena on January 1, 2022.”
The Rose Parade has also been canceled this year due to the pandemic.
The state of California twice rejected a request for a waiver to allow a limited number of fans to attend the Rose Bowl Game in person in Pasadena. CFP officials opted to move the game out of Pasadena and into AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where a limited number of fans will be permitted to attend.
The Rose Bowl is the oldest bowl game. The first game was played in January 1902, and the annual tradition began in 1916. Since 1923 the game has been played at or near the beginning of every year at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena, with the exception of 1942, when it was moved to Durham, North Carolina for security reasons during World War II.
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