There will be no Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2021. Will there be a Rose Bowl game?
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association announced Wednesday that the upcoming Rose Parade has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The parade that precedes the game routinely attracts thousands of people who line the streets to see the floats and bands participating.
“The health and well-being of our parade participants and guests, as well as that of our volunteer members, professional staff and partners, is our number one priority,” association president Bob Miller said in a statement. “Obviously this is not what any of us wanted, and we held off on announcing until we were absolutely sure that safety restrictions would prevent us from continuing with planning for 132nd Rose Parade.”
The parade has been held annually since 1891 and the 2021 cancellation is the first since World War II. The war years of 1942, 1943 and 1945 are the only other years when the parade has not been held.
The association said it made the decision to cancel the parade more than five months before its scheduled date after it commissioned a feasibility and safety report from public health experts at USC. It said that USC’s report “showed that even with intensive effort to ensure compliance with public health measures such as 6-foot distancing and face masks, it is likely that Rose Parade activities before, during and after the event would inevitably lead to large numbers of individuals in close proximity to each other, potentially, in some cases, without masks.”
Planning for Rose Bowl ‘still ongoing’
While the parade has been canceled, the Tournament of Roses Association made sure to note that preparations for the game were still underway. The annual Jan. 1 game is set to be a College Football Playoff semifinal game. And based on the language from the association about crowds at the parade, it seems a safe bet that the game will be played with limited fans or no fans at all if it does happen.
“We continue to work with the College Football Playoff and our collegiate partners to explore what this year’s college football season will look like amidst COVID-19 and social-distancing guidelines. While the safety and well-being of the student-athletes, university personnel and fans is our top priority, we remain hopeful that the Granddaddy of Them All will take place on New Year’s Day,” association CEO David Eads said.
The playoff and other bowl games are still — tentatively, of course — on as scheduled despite adjustments to the 2020 college football schedule. The Big Ten and Pac-12, the two conferences that traditionally meet in the Rose Bowl when it’s not part of the playoff, have already said that their teams will only play conference games in 2020 if a season is held.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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