With the NFL’s Rams moving back to Los Angeles and a future $2.5B stadium in Inglewood, I immediately thought of the Rose Bowl. Both the stadium and the game. No, the Rose Bowl stadium will not be the temporary home to the Rams, as the commission overseeing the stadium and neighborhood bowed out of the temporary NFL team hosting game. The Rams are moving into the Coliseum with USC until their Inglewood home is finished.
No, as a Husky fan and grateful spectator to four Rose Bowl games (3-1 UW record), I wonder if the Rose Bowl game’s days are numbered at the Rose Bowl stadium. A stadium that is arguably the greatest venue in college football with the scenery to nearly match. As college football and its playoff system have evolved into big business, we’ve already seen the Orange Bowl game move out of its namesake stadium (which was eventually demolished) and the Cotton Bowl move into AT&T Stadium. Neither of those venues were/are as iconic as the Rose Bowl, but it may only be a matter of time before the Rose Bowl game moves into the Inglewood stadium. Because while it may have less seats than the Rose Bowl, it’s got more of everything else.
One figures the stadium will seek to to attract as many events as possible to earn a return on investment. Just for college football alone, I’d expect some type of bowl game(s) to be played there in addition to regular season matches. If the Chargers eventually move to LA and San Diego State gets a smaller replacement for Qualcomm Stadium, that’d put the Holiday and Poinsettia Bowls at risk. Would their bowl charters move north to LA? Might UCLA consider moving their home games to the much closer Inglewood location compared to their current home at the Rose Bowl? Probably not if a second NFL team moves in. Though it probably comes down to financial trade-offs that either the Rams or UCLA would have to make.
The Pac-12 championship game would be another candidate for the stadium, though I’d argue that the conference championship game belongs in the Rose Bowl itself. This is especially true now that the new playoff system doesn’t guarantee that the conference champion plays in the Rose Bowl game. And will be doubly so if the game moves out of Pasadena. It’s a grand and historic venue. The Pac-12 should use that to the conference’s advantage. But the signature college event for the new stadium would be the Rose Bowl game.
Hopefully, the Huskies will give me another opportunity to see them play in the Rose Bowl game, in Pasadena, before the game moves to Inglewood. However, there will be no doubt that if the game moves, a piece of its heart will always remain at its birth home in Pasadena.