The fashionable-day sports stadium is something like an infinite outdoor (or indoor) lounge. Roomy seats — even for individuals who can’t afford suites. Gourmet food. High-tech gadgetry. Video screens which are nearly the scale of the sector itself.
The Rose Bowl it isn’t.
This relic of a stadium, with its cramped seats, narrow tunnels, meh food and spotty connectivity speaks to simply how old the Rose Bowl is — its 100-year birthday arrived in October. But what latest stadiums have in modern conveniences, they rarely have in setting, often built where land is affordable and available — on parking lots, industrial plots or blighted neighborhoods.
Because it does every Latest 12 months’s Day — or in cases like this 12 months when the vacation lands on a Sunday — the Rose Bowl will take center stage on Monday, with the University of Utah and Penn State readying for the ritual 2 p.m. Pacific time kickoff, unencumbered by the remaining of the bowl slate and unbothered by the rapidly evolving college football landscape that threatens the existence of the sport often known as “The Granddaddy of Them All.”
The trail into the Arroyo Seco — the ravine just northwest of old town Pasadena — requires navigating a maze of residential streets crammed with homes which are century-old architectural gems, until the bowl just appears, like a football castle in a forest clearing.
Inside, the stadium is a canvas come to life. The grass is all the time essentially the most lush green, and the top zones — painted the colours of the 2 teams — and the midfield rose are essentially the most vibrant. In most years, because the sun sets late within the third quarter, the spectators — and the million homebound viewers shut in by a winter freeze — are treated (or taunted) by the daylight dappling the San Gabriel Mountains hues of orange, pink and red.
The remainder of the 12 months the Rose Bowl is greater than a university football centerpiece.
It has hosted 4 Super Bowls, World Cup finals for men and girls, an Olympic soccer final, and live shows by Pink Floyd, U2 and Beyoncé. For the last 40 years, it has been home to U.C.L.A. football, and for longer than that a monthly Sunday flea market. Most days it’s a fulcrum of the community — a spot for joggers, bikers, swimmers and golfers.
Its future, though, is uncertain.
The expansion of the College Football Playoff implies that this 12 months’s game will likely be the last matching the Big Ten against the Pac-12 unless they’re pitted against one another through the vagaries of a playoff. The Rose Bowl game will likely be a part of the playoff, but to achieve this it’s giving up its prime Latest 12 months’s Day position.
The Rose Bowl will likely be a site for the 2028 Olympic soccer competition, but not for the World Cup in 2026, which will likely be hosted by Mexico, Canada and america. As a substitute, World Cup games will likely be about 20 miles south, on the glittering $4.9 billion SoFi Stadium, which will likely be the positioning of this season’s College Football Playoff championship game on Jan. 9.
The brand new stadium, built on a bulldozed racetrack and car parking zone, is majestic in its own way and can construct a history of its own over time. But will it ever match the pageantry and majesty of the ringing in the brand new 12 months with the Rose Bowl?
Consider Troy Aikman, the Hall of Fame N.F.L. quarterback turned broadcaster. He starred at quarterback for U.C.L.A, and one in all his crowning achievements was helping the Dallas Cowboys to a Super Bowl title on the Rose Bowl in a rout of the Buffalo Bills.
What gnaws at him, though, was losing back-to-back seasons to his college rival, Southern California, which prevented his U.C.L.A. teams from experiencing the spectacle of playing within the Rose Bowl on Latest 12 months’s Day.
“I feel it’s the best venue for a giant game for football anywhere within the country,” Aikman said recently of the Rose Bowl. “I got to play there for a Super Bowl, but my biggest regret is I never played within the actual Rose Bowl game. It’s essentially the most beautiful setting there may be. It’s a magical place.”