One UCLA Senior Athletic Director predicts today’s Bruins game against LSU in the Rose Bowl will make for a “magical night.”
He’s likely not wrong.
Not with a projected 60,000 fired up fans descending on the Arroyo for early tailgating, a special National Anthem show, a Show Support for Hurricane Ida Relief event, a tribute to the late UCLA Coach Terry Donahue, a new LED light show — and, oh yes — the historic first meeting of the UCLA Bruins and the LSU Fighting Tigers.
“It doesn’t get any bigger than this,” Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson told the Los Angeles Times.
The whole game day experience sounds like group time-warping back to pre-COVID days. And if UCLA wins, the victory could even rocket the Bruins into the national rankings.
Meanwhile Rose Bowl area residents grudgingly greet Game Day with mixed feelings.
This will be the first time since the pandemic-inspired “stay at home” orders kicked in more than a year ago that the Bowl will host a crowd anywhere close to today’s predicted size.
(In fact, today’s crowd might be double last week’s paltry 32,982, who spread thinly throughout the Bowl to watch Hawai’i sink under UCLA waves 44-10 in a season opening wipeout.)
At 11:30 a.m. today the Bowl’s parking lots will open. At 1:15, the Fan Zone Opens in Area H. It’s not until 4 p.m. that the stadium gates open but there will likely be a sizeable crowd built up by then. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m.
Fans must wear masks in the Rose Bowl. At last week’s game, some fans wore masks just to get into the Bowl but then ditched them. We’ll see what happens today.
People can take their masks off only “when eating or drinking,” Pasadena’s health order says.
The “drinking” part includes beer again, too, making a comeback at UCLA games this season for the first time in decades.
For locals, heads up!
There will be a brief use of pyrotechnics at one hour prior to the start of the game (at 4:30 p.m.) and at 30 minutes prior to kickoff (5:00 p.m.) as well as when the team runs onto the field and during the National Anthem.
Not to mention a 15-second air horn blown simultaneously to the pyrotechnics, at 4:30 and 5:00 p.m., too.
The Recreational Loop around the Rose Bowl will be closed Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The Equestrian Trail will remain open at all times.
Residents can get assistance on Saturday you can call the Rose Bowl Event Day Hotline between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. at (626) 397-4141.