Soon after the Pac-12 CEO announced there would be no college football this fall, Rose Bowl officials told Pasadena Now that they were still optimistic that UCLA could play football in spring 2021.
“Today, the PAC-12 Conference has made the difficult decision to postpone all sports competitions through the end of the calendar year, which includes the UCLA Football season held at the Rose Bowl, America’s Stadium,” the stadium said in a prepared statement. “While this news is unfortunate, we understand and agree with their decision that keeping student-athletes and guests safe during these difficult times is what matters most. We look forward with anticipation to welcoming our UCLA Bruins home at a time when it is safe to do so.”
On Tuesday, the Pac-12 CEO group voted unanimously to postpone fall sports and said they will look at options to return to competition next year, the conference announced. The vote ends any chance of UCLA football in the Rose Bowl this year.
A Tournament of Roses official said the 2021 Rose Bowl Game is actually not a traditional game between the PAC-12 and BIG 10 and would be a College Football Playoff Semifinal game, so “we’re still waiting on direction from the CFP regarding the status of this year’s postseason.”
Officials with the stadium were forced to cancel all events when the pandemic hit earlier this year and severely impacting the stadium’s finances.
Rose Bowl officials were looking to college football to help with the recovery. UCLA was scheduled to play crosstown rival USC on Sept. 26.
UCLA is one of the Rose Bowl’s primary tenants and has made millions of dollars for the stadium.
The stadium will lose $5 million including concessions, souvenirs and parking, according to Councilman and Mayoral Candidate Victor Gordo
“This is a very disappointing development but certainly not unanticipated,” Gordo said. The Rose Bowl Operating Company Board of Directors and staff have been working very hard to come up with alternatives that will generate revenue. While the Rose Bowl is limited to the type and size of events they can hold during the pandemic. There are opportunities to be creative and make revenue.”
Gordo led the RBOC for more than 10 years dating back to 2009 decade and helped bring the stadium into the black. He stepped down in 2019, but remains on the RBOC.
According to a staff report in a Finance Committee agenda report released two weeks ago, the Rose Bowl Operating Committee was expecting a 25 percent reduction in fans due to social distancing guidelines, if fans are allowed inside the stadium at all.
The Rose Parade was canceled late last month.
“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott in a statement. “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”
Student athletes will continue to have their scholarships guaranteed. The conference is also encouraging the NCAA to grant students who opt out of playing this academic year an additional year of eligibility.
Presidents from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC athletic conferences — also known as the Power 5 — held an emergency meeting Sunday amid growing concerns that fall.
“We’re all holding out hope for spring athletics,” Gordo said.