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When it came time to decide what games would be included in the College Football Playoff system, the easiest decision had to be including the Rose Bowl, the oldest bowl game. It was first played in 1902 and has been played every single year since 1916.
For much of its history, the game has featured the champions of the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences. However, during the BCS Era, this wasn’t always the case. When it was the Rose Bowl’s turn to host the national championship game (2002 and 2006), it hosted the top two teams in the country regardless of conference affiliation.The same holds true for when it is the Rose Bowl’s turn to host a semifinal game for the College Football Playoffs. But in the other non-playoff years, the Rose Bowl continues with its Pac-12/Big Ten affiliation.
Its origins can be traced as far back as 1888 when the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club was formed. Two years later, the first Tournament of Roses parade and games was held featuring foot races, tug of war competitions, jousting, and more.
It wasn’t until 1902 that the first football game was held at Tournament Park. Organizers had hopes that it could help raise money to cover the cost of the parade. The contest was billed as the Tournament of Roses East-West Game, and pitted Michigan against Stanford.
The Wolverines won in a blowout, 49-0. The game got so out of hand Stanford quit in the third quarter. Since the game was only a friendly, and not meant to be competitive, it was discontinued. In the years to follow, the Tournament of Roses featured chariot races (starting in 1904), ostrich races in 1913, and even an ‘elephant versus camel’ race (the elephant won).
The crowds became too big for Tournament Park, and a new stadium was commissioned and built in 1922. It cost a mere $272,198 to construct, sat 57,000 people and was named ‘The Rose Bowl.’ USC won the first Rose Bowl game played in it (1923), in a 14-2 win over Penn State.
Over the years, the seating capacity has been increased, to the point now where its capacity is listed at 92,542 but has been known to seat well over 100,000.
The only time the Rose Bowl game was not played in Southern California was in 1942. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, organizers feared the Japanese might try to attack the West Coast again. Duke offered to host the game rather than see it canceled. Organizers accepted the offer so for one season it was played in Durham, North Carolina. But for the other years of Rose Bowl history, the game has taken place in Southern California.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rose Bowl Tickets and Event Information
What is the Rose Bowl?
Rose Bowl is an annual college bowl game played in Pasadena, California at The Rose Bowl. For a complete list of college bowl games, visit our college football bowl games tickets.
How much are Rose Bowl tickets?
Rose Bowl ticket prices on the secondary market can vary depending on a number of factors. Typically, Rose Bowl tickets can be found for as low as $178.00, with an average price of $292.00.
How to get cheap Rose Bowl tickets?
If you’re looking for cheap Rose Bowl tickets, tickets can be found for as low as $178.00. Additionally, once you click on your preferred event date, use the “sort by price” button located in the top left hand corner of the event page to sort all available Rose Bowl tickets by cheapest tickets available.
Where is the Rose Bowl?
The Rose Bowl is played at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.
When is the Rose Bowl?
The Rose Bowl takes place January 1, 2021.
Rose Bowl a Top-5 Most In-Demand Bowl Game of 2018-19
Only the two College Football Playoff Semifinal games are seeing more ticket demand from fans than this year’s Rose Bowl.
Below are the top five most in-demand bowl games, ranked by average ticket price, this bowl season:
- Cotton Bowl (Notre Dame vs. Clemson): $452 avg. resale price
- Orange Bowl (Alabama vs. Oklahoma): $358
- Rose Bowl (Ohio State vs. Washington): $337
- Sugar Bowl (Georgia vs. Texas): $228
- Peach Bowl (Florida vs. Michigan): $188
2019 Game Among the Hottest Rose Bowl Tickets in History
This year’s matchup is on pace to be in line with some of the most in-demand Rose Bowl tickets we have tracked on SeatGeek over the past five seasons. At an average resale price of $337 for a ticket, demand for this game currently tops the 2015 Rose Bowl but trails last year’s CFP semifinal appearances from local California teams.
See below for a list of Rose Bowl ticket prices by year:
- 1/1/19 Ohio State vs. Washington: $337 avg. resale price
- 1/1/18 Oklahoma vs. Georgia (CFP Semifinal): $418
- 1/2/17 USC vs. Penn State: $415
- 1/1/16 Iowa vs. Stanford: $426
- 1/1/15 Oregon vs. Florida State: $260
- 1/1/14 Stanford vs. Michigan State: $580
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