The 2021 Rose Bowl game is still on the schedule even after the Rose Parade was canceled Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Pasadena, Calif., game is set to serve as one of the two national semifinals for the College Football Playoff in the upcoming season.
“We continue to work with the College Football Playoff and our collegiate partners to explore what this year’s college football season will look like amidst COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines,” Tournament of Roses executive director/chief executive officer David Eads said in a statement. “While the safety and well-being of the student athletes, university personnel and fans is our top priority, we remain hopeful that the Granddaddy of Them All will take place on New Year’s Day.”
Eads told the Los Angeles Times that the game in the 90,000-plus-seat Rose Bowl stadium could be held with no fans in attendance or with a limited capacity with fans socially distanced.
The Rose Bowl game has been played annually since 1916, though the 1942 edition was moved to Duke Stadium in Durham, N.C., less than a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The Rose Parade has been held annually in Pasadena since 1891 with three exceptions, in 1942, 1943 and 1945 amid World War II.
“The health and well-being of our parade participants and guests, as well as that of our volunteer members, professional staff and partners, is our number one priority,” Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association president Bob Miller said in a statement. “Obviously this is not what any of us wanted, and we held off on announcing until we were absolutely sure that safety restrictions would prevent us from continuing with planning for 132nd Rose Parade.”
Eads added in a statement, “In addition to the advance planning required by our band and equestrian units, the construction of our floats takes many months and typically requires thousands of volunteers to gather in ways that aren’t in compliance with safety recommendations and won’t be safe in the coming months.
“While we are extremely disappointed that we are unable to host the parade, we believe that not doing so will prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as protect the legacy of the Rose Parade for generations to come.”