Rose Bowl's move to Texas includes $2 million 'gift' to city of Pasadena

Jack Baer
·2-min read

What’s in a name? In the case of the Rose Bowl, it’s enough to require a $2 million payout to the city of Pasadena.

That was the payment made by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, which owns and organizes the game, paid to the city as part of the agreement to hold the 2020 Rose Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, according to Bill Shea of The Athletic. It was announced earlier this month that the game would be moved due to COVID-19 restrictions in the state of California.

The update to the 30-year agreement between the city of Pasadena and Tournament of Roses was reportedly signed Tuesday.

Pasadena losing a lot with movement of Rose Bowl

A sign promoting the Rose Bowl Game is seen outside the Rose Bowl Stadium Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. No. 13 Southern California became the sixth Pac-12 team to opt out of a bowl game Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 citing a recommendation from team doctors and discussions with players. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
The Rose Bowl won't be played in Pasadena this year. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The $2 million payout was described as a “gift” by Tournament of Roses CEO David Eads to help offset the financial impact of losing the game for Pasadena. However, that probably won’t be enough to make up for the money generated each year by the game, according to the Tournament of Roses’ math:

Tournament of Roses economic impact studies — some economists caution to take such data with large grains of salt — say the bowl game and parade generate about $200 million in local benefit for Pasadena. That includes $68 million estimated for the game itself, Eads said.

Obviously, much of that money was already lost before the game was moved due to the nature of the pandemic.

The situation remains contentious and frankly awkward. Paul Little, the president and CEO of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, told The Athletic he remains opposed to the move due to the possibility of the game basically getting Cotton Bowl’d by the new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

“I remain opposed,” he wrote. “I expect there are financial considerations that I am not aware of, but feel the use of the Rose Bowl name this year and under these circumstances is not in the best interest of Pasadena or the Tournament of Roses. I’m also concerned that a precedent will be set so that the NCAA or College Football Playoff powers-that-be think they will be free to take the Rose Bowl name with them if they choose to have a New Year game at SoFi Stadium or elsewhere.”

Whatever happens in the future, this year’s Rose Bowl is set to kick off at 4 p.m. ET on New Year’s Day.

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