Ask an American to supply information on the city of Pasadena, California, and the typical answer will come back: the Rose Bowl. This is the name of both a college championship football game played on the 1st or 2nd of January each year AND of the stadium in which the game is held (after the festive Rose Bowl Parade).
What is interesting to note when visiting the site, is that the stadium and the vast grounds that surround it, are located as in a bowl indeed, surrounded by the mountains that ring Arroyo Blvd.
The stadium is home to UCLA football games, as well as sporting and concert events throughout the year. Flea marketers congregate here the 2nd Sunday of each month for a huge sale. On a daily basis, joggers walk and run laps around the perimeter of Brookside Park, which is a fenced -in garden of a golf course immediately behind the stadium.
Needless to say, rosebeds abound, both in front of the stadium and throughout its landscaped grounds.
This Italian Renaissance revival mansion, once owned by chewing gum manufacturer William Wrigley, Jr., was built between 1908 and 1914 and today serves as the headquarters for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. A two-year restoration was recently completed on the house.
Tours are offered February - August on Thursdays from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Gardens are open daily.
Most people, when asked about Pasadena, first think about the Rose Bowl and the Tournament of Roses Parade. The decision to build a large football stadium in Pasadena was made in the late 1890s but building did not start until 1921. The first football game played in the Rose Bowl took place on 28 October 1922 with the University of California Bears playing the University of Southern California Trojans. The stadium is the proud home of the Tournament of Roses Football Game, UCLA Bruin Football, Fourth of July celebrations, concerts, religious services, and the a huge flea market (second Sunday of each month). Over the past 80 years, the Rose Bowl has hosted five NFL Super Bowl Games, the 1984 Olympic Soccer Matches, the 1994 Men's World Cup, the 1999 Women's World Cup, the 2002 and 2006 BCS National College Football Championship Games and numerous other memorable events. Seating capacity is about 93,000. The stadium itself is pretty and is surrounded by mountains. Brookside Park, a haven for joggers, picnickers, and people relaxing is next to the stadium.
This is where the big Rose Bowl football game is played every New Years Day, after the parade. It always reminds me of ham and deviled eggs-our traditional New Years dinner, we always eat when the Rose Bowl game's on.
It's also used for other football games and events, including the 1994 World Cup final between Brazil and Italy. As you may see in my pic, a fair was happening when I was there.
There's not much else around the Rose Bowl-just a golf course, no shops or restaurants. You'll probably just take a few piccies and move on. Still, it's probably the symbol of Pasadena.
The Tournament of Roses Association was looking for a site that would be large enough to accommodate the patrons who wished to see football games. In 1897, the city of Pasadena had purchased ten acres of land located in the Arroyo Seco area of Pasadena, CA. This site turned out to be exactly what the Tournament of Roses Association needed. In 1921, it was decided that building should commence, and the structure was built with the south end open, giving the stadium a 'horseshoe' shape.
The intention in designing the stadium was to have as many patrons sitting as close to the action as possible. The first portion of the stadium was completed for less money than had been budgeted, and the seating capacity at the time was 57,000. The stadium was given the name 'Rose Bowl' by a police reporter named Harlan W. Hall, who had the Yale Bowl in mind when thinking of how an expanded structure would look.
On October 28, 1922 the first football game was played in the Rose Bowl with the University of California Bears battling the University of Southern California Trojans. The Rose Bowl was officially dedicated on January 1, 1923.
The south end of the stadium was closed in 1929, giving the structure its famous, sightline-enhancing elliptical shape. With this addition, the capacity was increased to 76,000. The current official seating capacity is 92,542.
Whether you want to do a long training run, bike, or just jog or stroll around the place, the Rose Bowl has a great three mile loop. There are water fountains and bathrooms. There is also a golf course and walking trails that go into the hills.
We went to the Wrigley Mansion because we'd heard the gardens were beautiful and the mansion was impressive. We got something a little different than we were expecting.
We pulled into the lot, greeted by two large tour buses, and when we went inside we were led into a large room. "There's a short video," said a very kind gentleman. We were given embroidered rose stickers for our collars, and then watched the last five minutes of a Rose Bowl video. With us in the room were about 50 older women. (A younger man and his wife were mixed in.) It was a hoot, and I was very amused. My husband less so.
We were given a tour of the house that focused on the Tournament of Roses and football and Grand Marshals and Queens. We had been hoping ot learn about the architecture, but there's only a little of that. Check out the photos I took of a few areas. The ceilings are pretty cool. Sadly, the gardens were not in bloom.
It's free, so if you are interested at least check it out! Tours are at 2 and 4, but I'd call just to make sure.
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