American Football Wiki
Rose Bowl
Rose Bowl (stadium) logo
Stadium logo
Rose Bowl Stadium (2018)
Arial view of the stadium in 2018.
Location: 1001 Rose Bowl Drive
 Pasadena, California
Coordinates: 34.161°N 118.168°W
Owner: City of Pasadena
Operator: Rose Bowl Operating
Capacity: 92,542
Surface: Grass
Stadium type: Outdoor
Construction info
Broke ground: 1922
Opened: October 28, 1922
Cost: $272,198
Caltech Univ. (NCAA)
Loyola Univ. (NCAA) (1951)
Cal State-LA (NCAA)
(1957–1960), (1963–1969)
Rose Bowl game
BCS National Championship Game
(2001, 2005, 2009, 2013)
Field design
Rose Bowl field
Rose Bowl game field design.
Official website

The Rose Bowl is an outdoor multipurpose stadium in Pasadena, California. The stadium is the site of the annual college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl, and home field for the NCAA's UCLA Bruins of the Pacific-12 Conference. It hosted events during the 1932 and 1984 Olympics,[1] and was the venue for the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final and the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final.

The natural grass playing field runs in a north–south configuration and sits at an elevation of 825 feet (251m) above sea level.[2] The stadium is a National Historic Landmark.[1] Its design was based upon the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut.



The Rose Bowl under construction; note the original horseshoe shape

The game now known as the Rose Bowl Game was played at Tournament Park until 1922. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, the game's organizer, realized that the temporary stands were inadequate for a crowd of more than 40,000, and sought to build a better, permanent stadium.

The stadium was designed by architect Myron Hunt in 1921. His design was influenced by the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut, which was built in 1914. The Arroyo Seco dry riverbed was selected as the location for the stadium. The Rose Bowl was under construction from 1921 to 1922.

The nearby Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum also was under construction during this time and would be completed in May 1923 shortly before The Rose Bowl was completed. The first game was a regular season contest on October 28, 1922 when Cal defeated USC 12-0. This was the only loss for USC and California finished the season undefeated. California declined the invitation to the 1923 Rose Bowl game and USC went in their place. The stadium was dedicated officially on January 1, 1923 when USC defeated Penn State 14–3. Originally built as a horseshoe, the stadium was expanded several times over the years. The southern stands were completed in 1928, making the stadium a complete bowl.

The name of the stadium was alternatively "Tournament of Roses Stadium" or "Tournament of Roses Bowl", until being settled as "Rose Bowl" before the 1923 Rose Bowl game.[3]

The stadium seating has been reconfigured several times since its original construction in 1922. The South end was filled in to complete the bowl and more seats have been added. The original wooden benches were replaced by aluminum benches in 1969. For many years, the Rose Bowl had the largest American Football stadium capacity in the United States, eventually being surpassed by Michigan Stadium in 1956,[4][5] then later by the Pennsylvania State University's upgrade to Beaver Stadium (110,753) in 2000. The Rose Bowl's maximum stated seating capacity was 100,594 from 1972 to 1997. Capacity was lowered following the 1998 Rose Bowl when benches were replaced with individual seats except in the end-zones. Slightly different figures are given for the current capacity, for the lower level seats behind the team benches are not used for some events since the spectators can not see through the standing players or others on the field. UCLA reports the capacity at 91,136.[6] The Tournament of Roses reports the capacity at 92,542.[7] The 2006 Rose Bowl game, which was also the BCS championship game, had a crowd of 93,986.[8] In the 2011 contest between TCU and Wisconsin, the listed attendance was 94,118. As of 2008, the Rose Bowl is number eight on the List of American football stadiums by capacity, and is still the largest stadium that hosts post-season bowl games.[9]

In 1999, Sports Illustrated listed the Rose Bowl at number 20 in the Top 20 Venues of the Twentieth Century.[10] In 2007, Sports Illustrated named the Rose Bowl the number one venue in college sports.[11]


Rose Bowl Game[]

The Rose Bowl stadium is best known in the U.S. for its hosting of the Rose Bowl, the first and most famous postseason college football game. The game is played after the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day, or, if January 1 is a Sunday, on the following Monday January 2. The stadium's name has given rise to the term "bowl game" for all postseason games, regardless of whether they are played in a bowl-shaped or "Bowl"-named stadium. The Rose Bowl Game is commonly referred to as "The Granddaddy of Them All" because of its stature as the oldest of all the bowl games. Since its opening, the Rose Bowl stadium has hosted the bowl game every year except the 1942 Rose Bowl, when the game was moved to Durham, North Carolina, at the campus of Duke University. Duke, which played in the game on January 1, volunteered to host the contest because of security concerns on the West Coast in the weeks following the attack on Pearl Harbor.[12][13] Since 1945, the Rose Bowl has been the highest attended college football bowl game.[14]

BCS National Championship[]

In 1998, the Rose Bowl Game became part of the Bowl Championship Series. The 2002 Rose Bowl and the 2006 Rose Bowl games also were the BCS Championship games, matching the #1 and #2 Bowl Championship Series teams in the nation. The 2010 BCS National Championship Game was played 6 days after the 2010 Rose Bowl Game as a completely separate event from the Tournament of Roses. The Tournament of Roses managed the event. The stadium will host the 2014 BCS National Championship Game when it will celebrate its 100th anniversary.[15]

UCLA Bruins Football home stadium[]

Rose Bowl stadium has been the home American Football field for UCLA since 1982.[6] The UCLA Bruins had played their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1928. There was an attempt to build a 44,000 seat stadium on campus, at the site where Drake Stadium eventually was built. However, the proposal was blocked by influential area residents, as well as other politicians.[16][17]

At the start of the 1982 NFL season, with the Oakland Raiders scheduled to move in, UCLA decided to relocate its home games to the Rose Bowl Stadium.[18] The Bruins went on to play two straight Rose Bowl games in their new home stadium, the 1983 Rose Bowl and the 1984 Rose Bowl. UCLA has participated in five Rose Bowl games since moving to the stadium. The stadium is the host of the UCLA–USC rivalry football game on even numbered years, alternating with the Coliseum. In the first rivalry game at the stadium between UCLA and USC in 1982, USC fans sat on the west side of the stadium and UCLA fans sat on the east side of the stadium, mirroring an arrangement that existed when the teams shared the Coliseum. Both teams also wore their home uniforms. In 1984, USC fans were moved to the end zone seats, which ended the tradition of shared stadium. Because of the shared arrangement, and the participation of USC in a number of Rose Bowl games, both schools have winning records in each others' home stadium. The Bruins travel 26 miles from campus to Pasadena to play home games, but only 14 miles to their biggest road game at USC every other year.[16]

A panorama of the Rose Bowl during a UCLA-USC rivalry game, taken from the southwest corner

Caltech Beaver football home stadium[]

Caltech, a university located in Pasadena, played most home games in the Rose Bowl from the time of its construction until they gave up football in 1993. Caltech jovially claimed to play before the greatest number of empty seats in the nation.[19]

Junior Rose Bowl[]

The stadium has hosted the Junior Rose Bowl from 1946–71 and 1976–77. Between 1946–66 and 1976–77, the game pitted the California Junior College football champions vs. The NJCAA football champions for the National Championship. It was organized by the Pasadena Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Junior Rose Bowl became the Pasadena Bowl football game from 1967–71; it was billed as the Junior Rose Bowl the first two years, but instead two teams from the NCAA College Division competed (then later the University Division, usually featuring teams that were not invited to other major bowls).

Super Bowls[]

The stadium has hosted the Super Bowl five times. The first being in 1977, Super Bowl XI when the Oakland Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings 32–14. The game was also played there in 1980 (Super Bowl XIV), 1983 (Super Bowl XVII), 1987 (Super Bowl XXI) and 1993 (Super Bowl XXVII). The Rose Bowl is one of two venues (Stanford Stadium being the other) to host a Super Bowl though having never served as the full-time home stadium for an NFL or AFL team (Stanford Stadium hosted one San Francisco 49ers game after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake).

Because the NFL has a policy limiting the hosting of a Super Bowl to NFL cities (& metropolitan areas), the Super Bowl has not been played at the Rose Bowl since January 1993. Since the Rams and Raiders departed the L.A. area in the mid-1990s, the NFL's title game visits to southern California have been limited to San Diego only, home of the Chargers. The Rose Bowl stadium is the only site west of the Mississippi River to host an Army-Navy game (1983). The city of Pasadena paid for the traveling expenses of the all students and supporters of both the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Military Academy.[20] The attendance was 81,000.[21][22] The game was brought to the Rose Bowl as there are a large number of military installations and servicemen and women, along with many retired military personnel, on the West coast.[20]

The stadium hosted the 2007 Drum Corps International World Championships August 7 through August 11, 2007. The Rose Bowl is the final stadium to host the championship before DCI moved their corporate offices to Indianapolis, Indiana with the championships being held at Lucas Oil Stadium until at least 2018. This was the first time the DCI championships have ever been held west of Denver, Colorado in the 35 year history of DCI.

It hosted auditions for the top American television show, American Idol, on August 8, 2006. The stadium has also been used as part of the music video shoot for the song "The Last Song", the second single released by the American rock band The All-American Rejects, which features the band performing the song in the middle of the stadium to an empty crowd.

Pasadena events[]

Fireworks over the Rose Bowl 20140704

4th of July Fireworks over the Rose Bowl

The annual Rose Bowl Stadium July 4 fireworks celebration titled "Americafest" is celebrating its 86th anniversary in 2012. The annual fireworks show is considered one of the top fireworks shows in the nation. The stadium hosts commencement ceremonies for John Muir High School and Pasadena High School. It also hosts the annual football homecoming game, called the Turkey Tussle, between Pasadena and John Muir, in mid-November.

Every second Sunday of each month, The Rose Bowl Flea Market takes place on the parking lots. Hosted by promoter R.G. Canning, it claims to be the largest flea market on the West Coast. Brookside golf course also is in the Arroyo Seco. The fairways of the golf course serve as parking on Football game days.

1932 Summer Olympics[]

The Rose Bowl was the track cycling venue for the 1932 Summer Olympics.[23]

1984 Summer Olympics[]

The Rose Bowl Stadium was a venue for the football (soccer) events for the 1984 Summer Olympics.[24]

Los Angeles Galaxy[]

The Rose Bowl stadium was the home ground for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer from the team's inception in 1996 until it moved into the soccer-specific Home Depot Center in 2003; the venue additionally hosted the 1998 MLS Cup.

FIFA World Cups[]

The Rose Bowl is one of two stadiums to have hosted the FIFA World Cup finals for both men and women. The Rose Bowl hosted the men's final in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the women's final in the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. (The only other stadium with this honor is the Råsunda Stadium near Stockholm, Sweden, which hosted the men's final in 1958 and the women's final in 1995.) Both Rose Bowl finals were scoreless after extra time and decided on penalty shootouts; Brazil defeating Italy in the 1994 men's final, and the United States defeating China in the 1999 women's tournament.[25][26]

The 1999 women's final was the most-attended women's sports event in history, with an official attendance of 90,185.

Other events and usage[]

The Rose Bowl stadium is the only site west of the Mississippi River to host an Army-Navy game; it did so in |1983. The city of Pasadena paid for the traveling expenses of the all students and supporters of both the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Military Academy.[20] The attendance was 81,000.[27][28] The game was brought to the Rose Bowl as there are a large number of military installations and servicemen and women, along with many retired military personnel, on the West coast.[20]

The stadium hosted the 2007 Drum Corps International World Championships August 7 through August 11, 2007. The Rose Bowl is the final stadium to host the championship before DCI moved their corporate offices to Indianapolis, Indiana with the championships being held at Lucas Oil Stadium until at least 2018. This was the first time the DCI championships have ever been held west of Denver, Colorado in the 35 year history of DCI.

It hosted auditions for the top American television show, American Idol, on August 8, 2006.

On June 18, 1988, Depeche Mode played the last concert of their Music For The Masses Tour, at the sold-out Rose Bowl in front of 60,452 people. This concert was recorded and filmed for the album and documentary movie, 101, which was released in 1989 and was directed by D. A. Pennebaker.

Pink Floyd played at the Bowl, on two consecutive nights, during The Division Bell Tour on April 16–17, 1994 & is available on ROIO.

The stadium hosted the Lilith Fair in 1998 & 1999.

On October 25, 2009, U2 played to the first ever full capacity sell out crowd (97,014) in the history of the Stadium. Their 360° Tour visited the stadium in support of the #1 album No Line on The Horizon.[29] This concert streamed live on YouTube worldwide[30] and was subsequently released on DVD and Blu-Ray.[31]

The stadium also plays host to the annual 4 July Fireworks show since 1926. Since 2008, "Americafest" has featured "Drum Corps International (DCI), Marching Music's Major League, which presents 'five of the country's best Drum and Bugle Corps", and a "world-class fireworks show that will thrill and delight families from throughout Southern California".[32]

The stadium's Court of Champions was the site of a "Roadblock" from Season 17 of the hit CBS reality TV show The Amazing Race where teams had to help decorate three sections of the theme float for the 2011 New Year's Day Rose Parade.

Present status[]


Large card stunt[33] performed at the 2004 Rose Bowl Game viewed from the Southeast corner

The Rose Bowl and adjacent golf course are managed by the Rose Bowl Operating Company, a non-profit organization whose board is selected by council members of the City of Pasadena. UCLA also has one member on the company board. The Rose Bowl stadium itself runs on a yearly operational loss.[34] While it generates funds with the annual lease with UCLA ($1.5m), the Tournament of Roses ($900k), and a regularly hosted flea market ($900k), it makes up the loss by relying on funds generated by the adjacent city-owned golf course ($2m).[34] While the stadium is able to keep operating in this financial set-up, it is unable to finance many of the capital improvements it needs to be considered a modern facility, including new seats, wider aisles, additional exits, a wider concourse, a renovated press box, a state-of-the-art video scoreboard, new field lighting, additional suites and a club. The estimated cost for such improvements ranges from $250 million and $300 million.[34]

The stadium currently has long-term leases with its two major tenants, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses (2019) and UCLA (2023). In 2006, the Rose Bowl and the City of Pasadena launched a $16.3 million capital improvement program that will benefit both UCLA and the Tournament of Roses. New locker rooms for both UCLA and visiting teams, as well as a new media interview area were constructed.[6]

In April 2009, The Rose Bowl Operating Company unveiled a Rose Bowl Strategic Plan, which addressed the objectives to improve public safety; enhance fan experience; maintain national historic landmark status; develop revenue sources to fund long-term improvements; and enhance facility operations. On October 11, 2010, the Pasadena City Council approved a $152 million financing plan for the major renovation of the stadium and the first of three phases started after the 2011 Rose Bowl game.


Since losing both its local teams in the L.A. market in 1995, the National Football League had been looking to either start or relocate a franchise to the L.A. area. One of the strong candidates was a renovated Rose Bowl. However, after many years of varying offers, no deal could be struck between the NFL owners, the stadium's owner, and the City of Pasadena, following a vote of disapproval by its residents in November 2006.[34]


The Rose Bowl is one of the largest stadiums in the United States that hosts soccer games from time to time. The United States national soccer team plays games in the Rose Bowl occasionally. The LA Galaxy occasionally still plays games there, against marquee opponents such as FC Barcelona. The Mexican national soccer team, which has a large following in Los Angeles, has hosted several friendly matches at the Rose Bowl. On March 3, 2010, Mexico hosted New Zealand in a tune-up match for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and had a crowd of 90,500. On June 25, 2011 the Rose Bowl will play host to the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship match. It is the only stadium in the world to have hosted an Olympic gold medal match and both the Men's and Women's FIFA World Cup Final.

Seating and attendance records[]

  • Rose Bowl Game records: 1973 Rose Bowl, January 1, 1973, Attendance: 106,869. Number 1 ranked and undefeated USC vs. number 3 Ohio State. This is the stadium record, as well as the NCAA bowl game record.[6][35][14] The smallest Rose Bowl game crowd in the stadium was the 1934 Rose Bowl with 35,000 in attendance to see Columbia defeat Stanford.[14] Three days of rain had turned the stadium into a small lake, and it rained on New Year's Day in 1934, one of the few times in the history of the tournament.[36]
  • NFL Super Bowl Record: Super Bowl XIV, Pittsburgh SteelersLos Angeles Rams, January 20, 1980, Attendance: 103,985. This is an NFL post-season record.[37] This also stood as an overall NFL record until broken by a 1994 Pre-season game played at Estadio Azteca (Aztec Stadium) in Mexico City.[38][39]
  • 1984 Summer Olympics (Games of the XXIII Olympiad) Football (Soccer) Tournament – France defeated Brazil 2-0 in the final to win the gold medal on August 11. The attendance was 101,799 making it the largest ever crowd for a soccer game held in the United States.
  • College football regular season record: UCLA-USC, November 19, 1988, Undefeated second-ranked USC (9–0) and quarterback Rodney Peete met 9–1, sixth-ranked UCLA and quarterback Troy Aikman with a berth in the Rose Bowl Game on the line. Attendance: 100,741[40]
  • Professional soccer record: June 16, 1996: In an historic doubleheader witnessed by 92,216 fans, the U.S. National Team plays Mexico for the championship of U.S. Cup '96 followed by the conference leaders Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Tampa Bay Mutiny. The crowd was the largest ever to see a U.S. professional soccer league match.
  • FIFA Men's World Cup 1994: The final, held on July 17 saw Brazil defeat Italy 3-2 after a penalty shootout. Attendance was 94,194.
  • FIFA Women's World Cup 1999: final on July 10, 1999 was the most attended women's sports event in history with an official attendance of 90,185. The USA defeated China 5-4 in a penalty shootout.
  • Soccer, exhibition match: August 1, 2009. An attendance of 93,137 showed up when FC Barcelona defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 in an exhibition match, making it the largest soccer attendance in the United States since the 1994 World Cup.[41]
  • Concert: Irish Rock band U2 played to 97,014 fans on October 25, 2009 on the North American Leg of the 360° Tour. This concert was released on BD and DVD as U2 360° at the Rose Bowl.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named nhlsum
  2. Microsoft Terraserver reference
  3. HUGE FLAGSTAFF FOR PASADENA. Enormous Steel Pole 122 and ½ Feet Long Will Stand in Rose Bowl. Los Angeles Times, December 10, 1922. MONDAY afternoon at 2 o'clock the new flagstaff of the Tournament of Roses stadium, now called the Rose Bowl, will be put in place with suitable ceremony under auspices of the Pasadena Lions Club, donor of the pole.
  4. The Michigan Stadium Story
  5. University of Michigan Official Athletics site – Michigan Stadium
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named UCLAROSEBOWL
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ROSEBOWLHISTORY
  8. Tournament of Roses Parade FAQs. The Rose Bowl Game is a contractual sellout. In 2006, attendance was 93,986.
  9. Historic information on the Rose Bowl Stadium
  10. SI's Top 20 Venues of the 20th Century. Sports Illustrated, June 7, 1999 "The Rose Bowl is more a postcard than a stadium, designed to seduce pasty Midwesterners with the California fantasy. How many Big Ten fans tuned in on those wintry New Year's Days to gawk at the blooming bougainvillea and started packing their station wagons at halftime? "
  11. Top 10 College Sports Venues: Number 1 - Rose Bowl Sports Illustrated. Text: Mallory Rubin. July 13, 2007
  12. Rose Bowl Timeline. Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Retrieved on 2007-11-05.
  13. Zimmerman, Paul - Scene of Rose Bowl Shifted to Durham, N.C. Los Angeles Times, December 16, 1941. Perpetuation of the annual Rose Bowl intersectional football, classic was assured yesterday when the Tournament of Roses officials and Oregon State College accepted the hospitality of Duke University.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 NCAA Division 1 football records book. NCAA, 2007 Edition, pages 296-302 Major Bowl Game Attendance
  15. Beth Harris, Vizio to be new Rose Bowl sponsor, AP via BusinessWeek, October 19, 2010
  16. 16.0 16.1 Crowe, Jerry - There goes the neighborhood: How UCLA stadium bid was scuttled. Los Angeles Times, November 16, 2009
  17. Reich, Ken - Stadium for UCLA Given Support - Architect's Study Cites Project as 'Desirable' STADIUM SUPPORT. Los Angeles Times, November 18, 1965. UCLA officials--still reportedly trying to decide whether to recommend the building of a 44,000-seat football stadium on campus--have released details of an architectural feasibility study.
  18. UCLA History Project - This Month in History Aug. 18, 1982 … A gridiron home – includes a photograph of the 1983 Rose Bowl game from an overhead shot
  19. The Discovery of Anti-Matter: The autobiography of Carl David Anderson, The Youngest Man To Win the Nobel Prize. Published 1999 by World Scientific (ISBN 981-02-3680-8)
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Clark, N. Brooks - This Week 12.05.83. Sports Illustrated, December 5, 1983
  21. No. 1 Army vs. Navy Athlon Sports
  22. Army Navy Football 1983. Score: Navy 42 - Army 13 | Game played at the Rose Bowl. United States Naval Academy Exhibits
  23. 1932 Summer Olympics official report. p. 74.
  24. 1984 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. Part 1. pp. 129-31.
  25. 1994 FIFA World Cup Final. (1994-07-17). Retrieved on 2009-07-07.
  26. 1999 FIFA Womens World Cup Final. (1999-07-10). Retrieved on 2009-07-07.
  27. No. 1 Army vs. Navy Athlon Sports
  28. Army Navy Football 1983. Score: Navy 42 - Army 13 | Game played at the Rose Bowl. United States Naval Academy Exhibits
  29. U2 360 Degree Tourn news release
  30. [1]
  31. Todd Martens, Rose Bowl: U2 attendance will be venue's largest ever for a concert, Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2009
  32. "Americafest 2008 at the Rose Bowl
  33. [2]
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Greg Johnson, $300-million fixer-upper, Los Angeles Times, January 1, 2007.
  35. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named NCAA2002ATTENDANCE
  36. Palladino, Lisa - OBITUARIES: Cliff Montgomery ’34, Rose Bowl Quarterback. Columbia College Today, July 2005
  37. Showdown in Motown by Gil Brant, Feb. 2, 2006
  38. Tom Weir – Cardinals deep-six 49ers in historic tilt in Mexico. October 3, 2005, USA Today. Total attendance for record regular season game in Mexico City Azteca Stadium is 103,467 breaking the record of 102,368 who saw the Rams play the 49ers on Nov. 10, 1957, at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
  39. Tom Weir – Mexico gets ready for football, not futbol. September 25, 2005, USA Today. quote:A 1994 Houston-Dallas exhibition drew a still-standing NFL record 112,376 to Estadio Azteca
  40. UCLA Football – 2007 UCLA Football (Media Guide). UCLA Athletic Department (2007), page 149 (PDF copy available at Note that the UCLA Bruins have played in six Rose Bowl games with larger crowds: 1956, 1976, 1983, 1984, 1986 and 1994.
  41. FC Barcelona tops Galaxy in front of 93,137 at Rose Bowl

External links[]