Lawry’s Beef Bowl, where the Rose Bowl teams dine at the Beverly Hills prime rib restaurant, has been canceled “given the growing concerns around COVID-19 and the Omicron variant,” the restaurant announced Monday.
The cancellation was made “out of an abundance of caution and safety of our staff and of the players,” the statement said.
Lawry’s will be packaging and delivering takeout meals for the players instead.
The Rose Bowl teams have annually participated in the Lawry’s Beef Bowl since 1956 except for last year when the game, which was a College Football Playoff Semifinal, was relocated to Arlington, Texas, based on “the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern California along with the inability to host player and coach guests at any game in California,” according to a statement from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
The Beef Bowl is older than all but the Rose, Orange, Cotton, Sugar and Sun bowls. It is billed by organizers as college football’s most enduring pre-bowl game tradition.
“The purpose of the event is to honor champion student-athletes for their achievement as a team of making it to the Rose Bowl Game,” said Richard R. Frank, president and CEO of Lawry’s Restaurants Inc., whose late father, Richard N. Frank, conceived the Beef Bowl in 1956, shortly after becoming Lawry’s president.
“The meal is a large part of the celebration because these are young men with enormous appetites, but it’s more about celebrating together away from the practice field in a legendary setting.”