Americans desperate for lower taxes and more freedom aren’t the only ones fleeing California.
The Rose Bowl, one of college football’s most prestigious annual bowl games, will not be played at the Rose Bowl stadium located in Pasadena, California, this season. Instead, the game has been moved to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
The reason? California’s iron-clad ban on spectators at sporting events due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The game in Dallas will still be played in the mid-afternoon window on New Year’s Day. We are pleased that parents and loved ones will now be able to see their students play in the game,” College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock said, the Associated Press reported.
The decision to move the game was made following complaints from teams about the Rose Bowl being “unable to accommodate players’ family members because of California’s COVID-19 restrictions,” the AP reported. Notre Dame head coach Chip Kelly even suggested his team would boycott the Rose Bowl if they were invited to play in the game and parents were prohibited from attending.
According to the AP, the Rose Bowl twice requested an exemption to the COVID-related restrictions on spectators — but were denied by local officials.
More from ESPN:
According to reports Saturday, the Tournament of Roses had asked state health officials to allow 400 to 500 spectators in the 95,000-seat stadium.
“We know that the decision was not an easy one to make,” David Eads, CEO and executive director of the Tournament of Roses, said in a statement. “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 Rose Bowl game has been played every year since 1916.
The last time the Rose Bowl was played outside of California happened in January 1942, when the game took place in Durham, North Carolina. The game had been moved over safety concerns just weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
This season, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will battle the Alabama Crimson Tide in the game, the first of two College Football Playoff semifinal games.
The winner of the Rose Bowl will then face the winner of the other semifinal game — either the Clemson Tigers or Ohio State Buckeyes — in the College Football National Championship game.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) reacted to the news about the Rose Bowl’s relocation, saying, “Now football is fleeing California.”
Now football is fleeing California. https://t.co/dGwbOYukGz
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 20, 2020