The Rose Bowl won’t be played in Pasadena in 2021.
The Tournament of Roses said Saturday night that the game would be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Jan. 1 due to COVID-19 restrictions in the state of California. The Rose Bowl is a College Football Playoff semifinal this season.
“We know that the decision was not an easy one to make,” Tournament of Roses director David Eads said in a statement. “While we remain confident that a game could have been played at the Rose Bowl Stadium, as evident in the other collegiate and professional games taking place in the region, the projection of COVID-19 cases in the region has continued on an upward trend.”
The game’s location has been in doubt in recent weeks because of California’s rules to stop the spread of the coronavirus and the location of the teams likely to make the College Football Playoff. It’s likely that two teams from East of the Mississippi River would be playing in the Rose Bowl and players’ families would have been unable to go to the game.
The inability for family members to go to the game was a big issue for Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. He spoke out against the restrictions on Friday and even threatened to not play in the game if his team was sent to Pasadena.
While the CFP had publicly maintained confidence that the Rose Bowl would be held in Pasadena, Yahoo Sports first reported that the Rose Bowl’s location could change earlier this month. The state of California did not grant the bowl and the playoff an exemption to have increased attendance at the game. State rules prohibit large gatherings and ban fans at sporting events as hospital capacity is close to being maxed out in the Los Angeles area.
“We are very grateful to Rose Bowl officials and the City of Pasadena. They have worked hard to listen to the concerns of the CFP, the teams that might have played there, and their state and government officials,” CFP director Bill Hancock said.
It’s only the second time the Rose Bowl has been held outside of Pasadena (the 1942 Rose Bowl was held at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina).
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