One of the biggest football events of the year is coming to Dallas-Fort Worth: The famous Rose Bowl, which takes place every New Year's Day, is moving from its usual location at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, to AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
According to a release, the decision to move the game is based on the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern California, along with the inability to host player and coach guests at any game in California.
California's strict COVID-19 policies would not allow players' families to attend. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly hinted that his team would boycott the game if parents were prohibited from attending.
The Cotton Bowl will also be played at AT&T Stadium on December 30, featuring the Oklahoma Sooners vs. the Florida Gators.
This is only the second time that the Rose Bowl won't take place in Pasadena. David Eads, Tournament of Roses CEO and Executive Director, says in a statement that it wasn't an easy decision.
"While we remain confident that a game could have been played at the Rose Bowl Stadium, as evident in the other collegiate and professional games taking place in the region, the projection of COVID-19 cases in the region has continued on an upward trend," Eads says.
Perhaps the bigger tragedy is that there will be no Rose Bowl parade. Forget the football, we're here for the floats. A pox on you, COVID-19.
Still to be decided: Whether the name will change. It's officially the "College Football Playoff (CFP) Semifinal." Will it be called the CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One? The name is a part of a license agreement that's co-owned by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena.
In addition to not being allowed guests, Tournament of Roses officials observed that medical resources throughout Los Angeles County are under duress.
The game will feature No. 1 Alabama against No. 4 Notre Dame. It'll start at 5 pm.
Since March, all sporting events played in California have been unable to host spectators and participant families. The Pasadena Tournament of Roses made its first appeal for a special exception at the Rose Bowl Game in November and made a second request to the state in December. Both requests were denied.