The Rose Bowl
The Rose Bowl is located in Pasadena, California, and is most famously known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day. This iconic stadium is home to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) since 1982 and remains an arena for athletes, and performers, and has even hosted big-time events such as the Superbowl, music festivals, and Olympic events.
The history of the Rose Bowl begins with the city of Pasadena starting a search for land to build a stadium. This took place in the late 1800s when the Tournament of Roses had bought a parcel of land in 1897. Two decades later, the Tournament of Roses Association decided to build the stadium. Before the construction of the stadium in the early 1920s to 1922, the first rose bowl game was played in 1902 at Tournament park which has become an annual tradition since 1916. The creation of the stadium was built because the max occupancy for the number of people allowed in to watch the game at tournament park rose to over 40,000 people. This was the main reason why the stadium was a necessity to be built. The main architect of the Rose Bowl stadium is Myron Hunt who was inspired by a design that came from a stadium in Connecticut. Hunt's original shape of the stadium closely resembled the structure of a horseshoe. The stadium was originally built for the sport of football and seated originally 57,000 people. The first game that was played in the new Rose Bowl stadium was on October 28, 1922, between the California Golden Bears and the USC Trojans where Cal beat USC 12-0. In 1929, the Rose Bowl began several expansions that lead from 76,000 to 86,000 in just three years. In 1949, over 100,000 occupancies were achieved. Between 1972 and 1998, the Rose Bowl was the largest stadium in the United States. In 1998, the Rose Bowl had lost 11,000 of its seats because the lowest rows of the stadium weren’t used and were even covered with billboards. The stadium did one last renovation in 2010 that underwent several improvements that were approved by the Pasadena City council which issued a $140 million renovation. Today the number of seats that are in the rose bowl is 90,888. The Rose Bowl has become an arena for the World Cup and numerous college games a year.
For nearly 130 years the Tournament of Roses has put on America's celebrations of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game since 1890. The stadium is managed by a non-profit organization called the “Rose Bowl Operating Company.” The stadium itself is owned by the city of Pasadena. There are numerous amounts of events that take place in the Rose Bowl and adjacent to the stadium are the Brookside Golf and Country Club. There is also an aquatic center that is available for members that people find for exercise and lessons. The Rose Bowl has hosted numerous amounts of events including the FIFA World Championships, Pac-12/Big Ten conferences, Super Bowls, Olympics, concerts, flea markets, Americafest, and tours.
The college football playoffs semifinals are hosted by the Rose Bowl every three years and are paired with the Sugar Bowl. The Rose Bowl has been the most prevalent decorated soccer venue in the world. The soccer events that have been hosted are the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final, the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final, and the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal Match. The Los Angeles Galaxy's home field was the Rose Bowl from 1996 through 2002 where the stadium has also hosted the 2002 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final, and the 1998 MLS Cup. The annual Superbowl game has been hosted by the Rose Bowl five times. The last super bowl to be played in the Rose Bowl was Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. The Olympics have been hosted by the Rose Bowl Stadium in 1984 for soccer and in 1932 for track cycling. “The 1984 Olympic Gold Medal soccer match between France and Brazil attracted an attendance of 101,799, breaking the previous Olympic Games soccer attendance record and setting the record attendance for a soccer game in the U.S. that stood until 2014.” (Discover Los Angeles) In addition to the Rose Bowl hosting sporting events, the live entertainment of music concerts has had some of the biggest concert events at the Rose Bowl. The first-ever music act to sell out for three consecutive nights straight was recorded at the Rose Bowl Stadium in 2014. The Rose bowl has a flea market from time to time that showcases antiques, vintage clothing and furniture, art, photographs, and jewelry. A spectacular event that happens once a year on the 4th of July is Americafest where the Rose Bowl features the largest fireworks show in Southern California.
My personal experience of the Rose Bowl has greatly influenced my knowledge and interest in the Rose Bowls' history and past and current events that have happened in the arena. I have grown up in Pasadena my whole life and I have always admired the structure and architecture of the building. I have seen several Pack-12/Big Ten Conference matches and have seen a world cup game. I have taken many personal photos of the architecture of the Rose Bowl for one of my classes which advanced my interest even more in the historic stadium. The front of the stadium has a Jackie Robinson statue for his great achievement of a 104-yard kickoff return in 1938 that was reportedly the longest in Rose Bowl Stadium history. This made me well aware of the importance of the Rose Bowls' historic superstars and the events that took place.
Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. “Tournament of Roses.” Tournament of Roses, 23 Feb. 2022, https://tournamentofroses.com/.
Stadium Freak. “17 Facts about the History of the Rose Bowl Stadium.” Stadium Freak, 23 Oct. 2021, https://stadiumfreak.com/history-of-the-rose-bowl-stadium/.
Los Angeles, Discover. “Rose Bowl Stadium: The Story of an L.A. Icon.” Discover Los Angeles, 21 Aug. 2019, https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/visit/rose-bowl-stadium-the-story-of-an-la-icon.