Rose Bowl officials had waited 100 years to hold their “Party of the Century,” and then they had to wait two more weeks.
Final plans for July 30, 2022, were locked into place for the historic Roaring Twenties-themed birthday bash when Real Madrid came calling for a match against Juventus on that very date.
The Rose Bowl obliged, of course, leading to a sell-out crowd that went into the record books as not just the highest-attended soccer match in the United States this year, but the highest-attended soccer match in the U.S. since 2018, according to stadium officials.
And the July 30 party became the August 13 party.
“But,” said Rose Bowl CEO Jens Weiden in an interview with Pasadena Now last week, “it looks like this August 13th may have actually worked out better for a lot of people that we want to have there,” although he said all the logistics became a bit like moving an ocean liner in a small harbor.
Now with just days to go, the excitement is in the air, he said.
While not wanting to spoil any surprises, Weiden allowed that a number of “ really cool people that have been influential to our history” will be walking the red carpet before dinner on Saturday evening, before they take to their seats at tables on the fabled field.
Weiden also acknowledged that one of college football’s greatest players ever, from one of college football’s greatest games ever, will be in attendance. He was referring to Vince Young.
With nineteen seconds remaining in the back-and-forth 2006 Rose Bowl game to determine the national championship, Texas quarterback Vince Young scored a touchdown to defeat the previously undefeated USC Trojans, 41-38.
The game is the highest-rated BCS game in TV history with 21.7% of U.S. households having watched it. The game is often considered the greatest Rose Bowl game of all time, as well as perhaps the greatest college football game ever played.
“Vince Young had one of the most memorable moments in all of college football and Vince is going to be here for the party,” Weiden revealed. “And he’ll probably end up getting in that corner end zone and posing for photos with all the thousand people who are there.”
Celebrities aside, Weiden noted the evening is really a “chance for people to sit down and dine on the actual field—which is why this place is so magical—and reminisce about the last hundred years, but more so, talk about the next hundred years. And that I think is what’s gonna be really cool about this event.”
The exclusive event will also net the Rose Bowl stadium over a million dollars, said Weiden, much-needed to maintain and upgrade the facility.
“I think that’s probably the coolest part about the ‘Party of the Century,’” offered Weiden, “ is that it’s an example of how much people care about this building.”
Wieden pointed out the Roaring Twenties-themed 2022 soiree might surprise the original builders and leaders.
“When the Tournament of Roses and (designer) Myron Hunt and the City of Pasadena decided to build this place, they built a place that they maybe didn’t even know at the time was going to be relevant for a hundred years.”
“If Myron Hunt came to this party and you didn’t give him any context, and he just walked in, he’d probably think it was the grand opening party of the Stadium.”
But with a hundred years of history, making friends and making memories. And cell phones.
More information on the Rose Bowl “Party of the Century” is available at www.partyofthecentury.org.