Tour the Rose Bowl

One of the great privileges of my job is being able to experience history on a daily basis – to walk through the same tunnels and onto the storied hallowed grounds that some of the greatest players and teams in college football have graced the past 90 years.

Knute Rockne’s Four Horsemen. Archie Griffin. Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler. Don Hutson. Dick Butkus. Terry Donahue, Pat Haden, Jim Plunkett and Vince Young.

Legendary players. Legendary coaches. A legendary stadium.

You too, can now enjoy this same privilege by taking part in a behind-the-scenes tour of America’s most iconic stadium. For the first time ever, the Rose Bowl Stadium is conducting guided tours, providing exclusive access to locations the public rarely has the opportunity to see.

From the locker rooms to the post-game interview room; the newly renovated premium-seating pavilion, the working press boxes and the playing field itself. Better yet, your experience will include the story behind the story – big games, big moments and big plays that defined careers.

There’s no shortage of historical moments at the stadium… 

  • The first Rose Bowl Game was played on Jan. 1, 1902, with Michigan beating Stanford 49-0, in a game so lopsided that the Tournament of Roses opted for chariot and ostrich races the next 15 years.
  • The original games were held at Pasadena’s Tournament Park. The Rose Bowl Stadium opened in time for the Jan. 1, 1923 game. 
  • The stadium was modeled after the Yale Bowl and was designed by architect Myron Hunt, whose other buildings included the Huntington Art Gallery and the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. 
  • The Rose Bowl Stadium has hosted events in two Olympics, three BCS national championship games, five Super Bowls and two World Cups (the 1994 men’s finals and the 1999 women’s finals).
  • The stadium has hosted the Rose Bowl Game continuously since 1923, with the exception of the 1942 game, which was moved to Durham, N.C., as a precaution during World War II.

Walk-up tours are available at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays. Prices are $17.50 for adults, $14.50 for children.

Group tours of 20 or more people are available seven days a week at $12 per person. Educational tours are $9 per student.

Additional information on Rose Bowl Stadium tours is available by calling 626-275-2714.

Darryl Dunn
General Manager
Rose Bowl Stadium


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Happy Holiday!

Dear Rose Bowl Loyalists,

Happy Holiday!

On behalf of college football fans across the country, what a ride we have enjoyed over the course of the 2012 regular season!  We are especially proud of our home team, the UCLA Bruins, for capping off a second-consecutive berth in the Pac-12 Conference Championship.  The Bruins’ performance on the field certainly complements the exciting direction and future of the Rose Bowl Stadium renovation and enhancements!  We have received tremendous feedback from our fans on the improved game day experience that the new Pavilion provided and our goal is to ensure that everyone experiences the best that the Rose Bowl can be. First-year head coach Jim Mora led us all on a magical season, and though they lost a tough one to Baylor in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, the Bruins capped off a great 9-4 season.


The Granddaddy of Them All® is almost here, with the No. 6 BCS-ranked Stanford Cardinal, Pac-12 Conference champions, making its thirteenth Rose Bowl Game appearance, versus the Wisconsin Badgers, the Big Ten Conference Champion who will be making its ninth. January 1 will mark the sixth meeting all-time between the Badgers and Cardinal and second Rose Bowl Game match-up; the last contest took place in Pasadena in the 2000 Rose Bowl Game which Wisconsin won, 17-9.

That’s what makes the Annual Rose Bowl Game so special–the history, the legacies, the iconic teams and players who have made the trip to Pasadena, and helped create the memories for fans around the globe.  To characterize the Rose Bowl as college football’s most famous game and venue, would be an understatement.  It represents, in many ways, the best in college football and we are getting ready for the 99th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO at 2:10 p.m. PT (5:10 p.m. ET) on Tuesday, January 1, 2013.

Next year, on January 1, 2014 we look forward to celebrating the 100th Rose Bowl Game to be followed shortly after on January 6, 2014, by the BCS National Championship Game, the final one of its current format.  The upcoming historic events remind us what a special and unique place our legendary stadium is. By kickoff of the 100th Rose Bowl Game, most of our ongoing renovations will be complete, improving the fan experience and public safety while maintaining our National Historic Landmark status.  As we move forward, we will continue our project as money comes in through our Legacy Campaign, our non-profit effort to raise money to assist in the renovation and make improvement to last for the next 100 years.  We will never stop moving forward as the Stadium is simply too important for Pasadena, for college football, and for the nation.

Five years ago, I had the pleasure of fulfilling a lifelong dream to visit Wimbledon.   I had the opportunity to tour the site and meet with several of the staff members of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club.   I remember the similarities between Wimbledon and the Rose Bowl Stadium– the marquis events which made the cities international; the events defining their respective communities (Wimbledon to England, and the Rose Bowl Game to Pasadena); the world-class sporting events are run primarily by volunteers (All England Lawn & Tennis Club, Tournament of Roses); and both sites have a pristine and serene nature.

What surprised me on my visit was a remark made by one of the Tennis Club staff members.  He debunked the myth that the Club was a tennis center.  In reality, he intoned, it was actually a construction site that stopped work for three months in order to stage a tennis tournament.

The Rose Bowl Stadium renovation project, which will be approximately 80% complete by the end of 2012, will take longer to complete than originally planned.  The costs have exceeded the predictions of the RBOC, and the strategy going forward is to simply spend what the RBOC believes it can afford today ($164 million).   We will continue to fundraise through our Legacy Connections (Rose Bowl Legacy Campaign), to ensure 100% of the original plans.  The RBOC is grateful for the support of the Rose Bowl Legacy Campaign, which has garnered pledges over $8.5 million to date, with a campaign goal of $20 million.

The commitment and support of the community and stakeholders of the Rose Bowl Stadium are essential for the iconic facility to continue to lead the world in venues.

As we welcome back the Badger and Cardinal fans to the Arroyo, we would like to remind everyone kist what a treasure we are so fortunate to call our own.  We would love for you to share your stories and experiences and be part of the legacy for generations to come!  From your favorite Rose Bowl Game memory to your own game-day experience, we share your passion for this magical stadium we call home.

As a reminder, we are always available to answer any questions you may have regarding the renovation project or new fan experience opportunities.  Simply send your comments to

And don’t forget to join us on Facebook, Twitter and on the official web site, for updates on the renovation project.

Thank you,

Darryl Dunn
General Manager
Rose Bowl Stadium



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Stadium Update

Dear Rose Bowl Stadium fans,

The 2012 college football season is off and running complete with upsets and surprises along the way.  We are especially proud of our home team, the UCLA Bruins and their 4-2 start!  Fans have been gracious in their feedback and from Lincoln, Nebraska to Corvallis, Oregon, guests have been raving about the renovation amenities and transformation.

“Great improvement of Suite situation at the Rose Bowl, great sight lines, great food. I love the indoor/outdoor seating options… and it’s so convenient. It makes its feel like I’m really watching the game, halfway watching at the stadium and halfway watching at home.” 

We continue to thank the tireless efforts of the construction staff and crew who are spending countless days providing the necessary procedures to keep America’s Stadium a first-class facility.


On Monday, October 1, Los Angeles Lakers legend and Dodger co-owner Magic Johnson spent an afternoon speaking to nearly 100 residents, workers and supporters of the Rose Bowl Stadium.  As part owner of Sodexo, Johnson has a stake in concessions sold at the stadium and his support for the historic landmark was quite evident in his delivery.

Johnson has big ten ties to the Rose Bowl Stadium, and spoke about how the Rose Bowl has put Pasadena on the map year after year. As Johnson continued to testify, the Rose Bowl Stadium has witnessed countless historical moments and provided a facility to the Pasadena community, which has welcomed not only great football but also world famous music artists and professional sports.


In honor of breast cancer awareness month, the Rose Bowl Stadium has teamed up with Passion Growers, the official rose of the Rose Bowl to donate pink flowers for the October 13 Bruin game versus Utah.

Passion Growers, founded in 2001, is a family-oriented company dedicated to growing and providing the most beautiful and highest-quality roses.  Its’ 150 varieties of roses can be found in more than 5,000 retail and grocery stores around the country.  Visit for more information.


With three UCLA home games in the record books, construction crews continue to work in the north and central areas of the new Pavilion as well as continue punch list items in the south end to prepare for the 99th Rose Bowl Game.  The Pavilion houses the new state-of-the-art broadcast center, premium seating and an enhanced press box located on both the north and south wings.  And it won’t be long before the beginning of Phase III is on its way!

This next phase will include reintroduction of the historic field hedge, provide field level exiting and tunnel restrooms, replacement of restrooms on the west concourse, finishing of the remaining electrical enclosures, new broadcast building to support the new broadcast center and a Bioswale down the median of the entry way to the stadium. Work is set to begin immediately following the January 2013 flea market, with completion finalized for the 2014 100th Rose Bowl Game. For additional information regarding the Rose Bowl Stadium Renovations and Enhancements please visit:


Please be sure and share with us know your feedback and personal testimonies about the Rose Bowl Stadium.  We are always available to answer any questions you may have regarding the renovation project or new fan experience opportunities.  Simply send your comments to

And don’t forget to join us on Facebook, Twitter and at the official web site, for updates on the renovation project.

Thank you,
Darryl Dunn
General Manager
Rose Bowl Stadium


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Stadium Updates

Dear Rose Bowl Stadium fans,

Welcome to our new blog!  It is an honor to serve as General Manager of the Rose Bowl Stadium, a place I have called home for more than 13 years now.  As we undergo arguably the most integral stages of maintaining this historic and iconic building, I would like to begin by thanking several groups for their support to this important undertaking.  The City of Pasadena, Tournament of Roses, and UCLA and Pasadena community have all come together with a vision to make this project a standard of excellence.  Our community has supported the Rose Bowl Stadium for more than 90 years and we want to ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to experience the magic and unique atmosphere which only the Rose Bowl Stadium can provide.

Right now we are gearing up to open our doors to UCLA’s 2012 season home opener.  On Saturday, September 8, the Nebraska Cornhuskers come to town and we are very excited as local and visiting fans will be able to see many of the significant transformations which have taken place over the past year.


One of the most prominent and visible changes is the Press Box, now called the Pavilion.  The Pavilion will encompass the working media, a new state-of-the-art broadcast center and Premium Seating including Suites, Loge Boxes, Club Seats and Lounges.  The Pavilion is one of the more significant aspects of this renovation as it will serve as a source of revenue to pay for many of the project details to enhance fan experience both today and tomorrow.  From expanding the gates to create a wider concourse, to new restrooms and widened tunnels, revenue from the Pavilion is integral.

There has also been a lot of the work which cannot be seen to the naked eye yet is so important to the health and future of the stadium.  Underground structural support, updated electrical measures, technology capabilities and the egress from the bowl are measures which not only support fan safety but also bring the Stadium to current standards with updated features.

Try to imagine an old house, complete with original framework and utilities.  We are essentially taking our 90 year old home and renovating the skeleton to last the next 90 years!

Since 1922, the Rose Bowl Stadium has provided a venue for the world to experience the splendor of Southern California.  Built at a time when Pasadena’s population was about 45,000, it once was one of the few stadiums in the country that held more people than the population of the city it was located.  Much has changed since then, but our vision and courage to think big has not, as evident in the remarkable renovation and support of those who see it as more than a place to play football, but a historic landmark.

Few stadiums can boast tremendous iconic stature.  Boston’s Fenway Park and Wrigley Field in Chicago make the list, yet both are supported by big cities.  The Rose Bowl Stadium, on the other hand, is supported by a hometown community.  By preserving its history while improving the fan experience we are ensuring its viability for years to come.

Our grandchildren’s generation will have the opportunity to experience events at the same hallowed grounds where so much history has been documented.  From Super Bowl’s, to Men’s and Women’s World Cup events and countless great moments in UCLA football as the Bruins’ home field, the Rose Bowl Stadium has made its mark in sports.  And every New Year’s Day (except when the first of January falls on Sunday), the Rose Bowl Game is front and center.  The Four Horsemen, Don Hutson, Bo Schembechler and Vince Young…The Granddaddy of Them All stands alone among college bowl games.

Obviously anytime you are dealing with a structure ‘of age,’ challenges are bound to arise.  However, our team is committed and proud of the legacy we’re continuing with the renovation and revitalization.  While we are far from total completion – our target date of January 1, 2014, is still clear in sight.

Our hope is to provide a behind-the-scenes look into the development along with the tradition and history of the Rose Bowl Stadium.  As we conclude Phase Two of the renovation and get ready to welcome in a new college football season, there is certainly a buzz in the air.  And we want you to be part of the excitement with an insiders’ view!

We realize social media is at the forefront of communications and we want to hear your feedback and personal testimonies about the Rose Bowl Stadium.  Join us on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to check back often at for updates on the renovation project.

We are also here to answer any questions you may have regarding the renovation project or new fan experience opportunities.  Simply send your comments to

Thank you for spending some time to catch up on the Rose Bowl Stadium and please pass this along to others who share in the same passion for one of America’s greatest sporting and entertainment facilities!

Darryl Dunn
General Manager
Rose Bowl Stadium

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