The Rose Bowl is among the most iconic and historic sports venues in the country. For almost 100 years, it has been the home of the Rose Bowl football game, but it has also hosted other important sporting events like the Olympics, NCAA national championships, Super Bowls, and it serves as the home of UCLA football games. It was designed specifically for football and on Jan. 1, 2015, the Rose Bowl will host the first ever College Football Playoff semifinal games (the other will be held at the Superdome in Louisiana) with the winner advancing to the final game.
The No. 2 Oregon Ducks host No. 3 Florida State in the 2015 Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Here’s what you need to know about the stadium.
1. The Rose Bowl was Built in 1922
The first Tournament of Roses Parade and games were first held in 1890 as a field day for outdoor enthusiasts to gather in Pasadena, Calif. A parade was held and foot races, jousts and tugs of war were contested. By 1902, the first Rose Bowl football game was played at Tournament Park between the University of Michigan and Stanford (Michigan won 49-0) and the event grew in popularity over the next 20 years that the venue had to be upgraded and expanded.
In 1922, a horseshoe-shaped stadium designed by Myron Hunt that could seat 57,000 football fans was completed at a cost of $272,198. The first Rose Bowl game dedicated the new stadium in 1923 when USC defeated Penn State 14-2.
2. The Rose Bowl Seats More Than 100,000 Fans
The stadium is a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The first iteration of the stadium in 1923 seated 57,000 football fans but it was enlarged by 19,000 seats in 1928 to accommodate 76,000 fans. In 1931, wooden sections were replaced with concrete and 10,000 more seats increased total capacity to 83,000. In 1949, $335,000 worth of renovations increased capacity to 94,410.
A fourth major expansion in 1950 increased capacity to 100,983 and the Rose Bowl became the first bowl game to have 100,000 spectators in attendance. A fifth expansion in 1972 bumped capacity to 104,594.
3. The Rose Bowl has Hosted Many High-Profile Events
The stadium has hosted more than just college football games. The Rose Bowl was the site of the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics, the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final and five different Super Bowls. The Rose Bowl was also one of four host stadiums for the NCAA national championship game between 1999 and 2014.
The last Super Bowl in the Rose Bowl was when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Buffalo Bills 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII on Jan. 31, 1993. Attendance for that game was 101,000.
4. The Rose Bowl is the Home of UCLA Football
While it is famous for hosting college bowl games, the natural grass surface of the Rose Bowl has been the home of UCLA football games since 1982.
5. The Tournament of Roses Parade is a Part of Rose Bowl Lore
Every year, the Rose Bowl football game is accompanied by the legendary Tournament of Roses Parade, which is typically held in the morning before the game. The parade was an event supported by the The Pasadena Valley Hunt Club, which was founded in 1888 for outdoors enthusiasts. The first parade was held in 1890 and included flower-decorated horse and buggies and public games. Following the parade, men competed in different events, which were later replaced by the football game.