Garden Better: Rose Guide

Rose Bowl Game

For over a century, Pasadena, California, has hosted the annual Tournament of Roses. This event has become one of the hallmarks of the New Year's Day celebration. Aside from the annual Rose Parade which features hundreds of floral floats, 16 marching bands, and a number of equestrian units, the Tournament of Roses also includes the Rose Bowl football game.


While the Rose Parade began in 1890 as a tribute to California's mild winter climate, it was only twelve years later, in 1902, that a football game was added to the New Year's Day festivities. In this first Rose Bowl Game, Stanford University was defeated by the University of Michigan with a score of 0-49. Following this embarrassing defeat, the Rose Bowl Game was quickly eliminated from the Tournament of Roses. It was only fourteen years later, in 1916, that the Tournament reinstituted a football game as part of its yearly festivities. Over the next several years, the Rose Bowl Game was met by growing crowds until finally, the crowd could no longer fit in what was called "Tournament Park" stadium. In 1923 the Rose Bowl Game began being played in the new "Rose Bowl" stadium. Since 1947, the Rose Bowl Game has been met by a sellout crowd. Additionally, it has come to be known as "The Granddaddy of Them All" because the first Rose Bowl Game in 1902 was also the first national, post-season, collegiate football game.


The Tournament of Roses began a tradition in 1989 of honoring those that have made special contributions to the Rose Bowl Game. Hall of Fame inductees are selected by a committee which includes representatives from the Tournament of Roses, the media and college football. Inductees can include players, coaches, college administrators, athletic directors, and conference officials. Inductees from the past include Terry Donahue (1997), a college football coach, college football analyst, and NFL general manager. Another well known inductee is Butch Woolfolk (1998), first round draft pick in 1982 and running back for several NFL teams.


The Rose Bowl Stadium is located in the city of Pasadena, California, just thirteen miles from Los Angeles' downtown. The stadium was built on two golf courses in a dried river gorge called the Arroyo Seco. Situated directly behind the Rose Bowl Stadium are the San Gabriel Mountains. Due to the increasing Rose Bowl Game crowds in the 1920's, there came a demand for a larger stadium as Rose Bowl Game crowds quickly outgrew Tournament Park, the original Rose Bowl Game location. In 1921, architect Myron Hunt designed a new stadium to meet the growing demands of Rose Bowl Game spectators. Construction lasted two years and was completed in the end of 1922. The 1923 Rose Bowl Game was the first to be held in the new stadium, given the name "Rose Bowl" by the Tournament of Roses' press agent. When built, the stadium was intended to hold 57,000 seats. Over the years, however, the capacity nearly doubled through a series of expansions to reach its present capacity of 93,000.

The Rose Bowl Stadium is the home of UCLA Bruin football. It has also hosted five NFL Superbowls, 1984 Olympic Soccer games, FIFA World Cup men's and women's final games, and various other sporting events. Today the Rose Bowl Game is one of the most popular post-season college sporting events and the cornerstone of the Tournament of Roses.

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