This year’s College Football Playoff semifinal has been relocated from the Rose Bowl to Texas, Tournament of Roses and College Football Playoff officials announced Saturday.
The name of the game had not been confirmed publicly as of Saturday night.
“It is not yet determined if the CFP semifinal in Arlington will be called the CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One,” the Tournament statement said. “The name is a part of the Master License Agreement and is co-owned by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena.”
Any use of the name for the semifinal reportedly would require permission from the Pasadena City Council.
The decision was 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,” according to the Tournament’s statement.
“We know that the decision was not an easy one to make,” said David Eads, Tournament of Roses CEO and Executive Director. “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.”
The Tournament of Roses received word late this week that the State of California would not make a special exception for player guests at the game.
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.
Eads said that the Tournament recognized that the well-being of the student-athletes needs to come first and “that continues to be our top priority.”
“We are very grateful to Rose Bowl officials and the City of Pasadena. They have worked hard to listen to the concerns of the CFP, the teams that might have played there, and their state and government officials,” said Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff.
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.
Meanwhile, USC announced that it will decline to participate in a bowl game this postseason. The Trojans were defeated Friday night by the Oregon Ducks.