Bucketlist, California, Destination, USA

A Private Tour of Rose Bowl Stadium

Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena, California

Athena and I are currently on a Super Bowl heritage road trip from San Diego to San Francisco as we discover the history and culture of the Super Bowl in California. Rose Bowl Stadium is the most historic stadium in the United States. It’s a National Historic Landmark in the beautiful city of Pasadena, California. There have been five Super Bowls, two Summer Olympic Games, the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, over 30 years of UCLA Bruins Football, BCS National Champions, 15 Heisman Trophy winners, and 99 Rose Bowl Games that have been played at Rose Bowl. I couldn’t do a Super Bowl heritage road trip without a stop at Rose Bowl Stadium. Today, I was lucky enough to have a private tour. Athena and I walked around the stadium while learning about its history, walking the halls of many of the greatest football players, and having our own game on the field. We could feel the energy that filled the stadium even though we were the only ones there. It has a life of its own.
Rose Bowl Stadium, California

As we walked through the concourse, I marveled at the beautiful mountains that are the backdrop to the stadium. I envisioned the concourse filled to capacity with lines for restrooms and concession stands crossing over one another. With a capacity for 88,500 people, the stadium must come alive during games, especially during the Rose Bowl game itself.
Rose Bowl Stadium seating

Many of the stands don’t have individual seating. They are benches, which force people to get close and cheer in unison. I think I like the idea of sitting close to my comrades and sharing the ups and downs on such a personal level. I’d never been to a Rose Bowl game but it’s now on my list.

Our guide told us about the care that goes into the grass. As she explained the extensive process, I started to understand the pride that goes into maintaining such an honored stadium. It’s not just a field; it’s a home to so many.
On the field at Rose Bowl StadiumI rubbed my feet in the grass thinking about how smooth it is as we walked along the field. One dip or imperfection could cause a player to roll his ankle or get injured. That’s not even thinking about the defensive players trying to take them down.

Athena and I picked up a foam football from a dollar store before heading to the stadium. How many thousands of people dream about playing on that field? We wanted our shot. I ran to the 10 yard line and she ran up the field. I tossed her the ball and chased her around as she tried to get into the end zone. It was a surreal moment; we were playing around on one of the greatest fields in history.

Again, we practiced our touchdown dance but for the first time in my life I might be too embarrassed to share the video. I’ll think about it.

Athena on the Rose Bowl field

As for Super Bowl history, it’s surprising that it has any considering it has never been home to any NFL team. The Super Bowl has been held at the Rose Bowl Stadium five times. It is only one of two stadiums in the country to host without being home to an NFL team.

Rose Bowl Stadium hosted the Super Bowl on the following:

  • Super Bowl XI – January 9th, 1977 between the Raiders and the Vikings
  • Super Bowl XIV – January 20th, 1980 between the Steelers and the Rams
  • Super Bowl XVII – January 10th, 1983 between the Redskins and the Dolphins
  • Super Bowl XXI – January 25th, 1987 between the Giants and the Broncos
  • Super Bowl XXVII – January 31th, 1993 between the Cowboys and the Bills

I was told that the conditions were ideal for every game; it was sunny and between 61 and 74 degrees on all five winter days. It’s California amazing? I’m so proud to call this state my home.

On the field at Rose Bowl Stadium, PasadenaToday, it hit me how grateful I am to have these experiences and share them with Athena. Playing around on the field and hearing about its history from a tour guide gave me so much more than I could have gained from a book and even more than watching a game on tv. It deepened my passion for the game and left me excited for more. Now, when I watch the players step onto the field, I will remember what that grass felt like under my feet and feel like I’m there with them. Bring on Super Bowl City!
Rose Bowl Fun Facts

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32 thoughts on “A Private Tour of Rose Bowl Stadium

  1. Susan Martin says:

    I used to live right near there, and could hear the stadium on weekend afternoons. Thanks for the trip back in time. 🙂

    1. Lesley says:

      That must have been so exciting! I would love that vibe.

  2. Love that the mountains form part of the stadiums backdrop, I bet you must feel like you are on top of the world. Great that you got a private tour too you are so lucky!

    1. Lesley says:

      The mountains in the background were one of my favorite parts. I actually loved Pasadena! The city is beautiful with a very active day and night life. It seems like a great place to live.

  3. What a great opportunity. My husband would love to see the stadium.

    1. Lesley says:

      Mine too! He was very disappointed that he couldn’t join me.

  4. jill conyers says:

    That is so cool! What a fun experience. Your post makes me miss sunny CA!

    1. Lesley says:

      I miss it even when I’m on vacation. It’s such a great place to live. Where were you located?

  5. It’s must have been a wonderful experience for you and your daughter, not only so, learning about the history of the stadium I think is also a plus. The view of the mountain on backside makes your photo even beuatifulier.

    1. Lesley says:

      I love when I can introduce education and history to her in such a fun setting. She loved it as much as I did.

  6. krystle cook says:

    Such a lovely stadium. My husband would love to go the super bowl someday. I hope to experience that some day too!

    1. Lesley says:

      I had the change to go to the Super Bowl the last three years and I’m never in the country during game day. Next year, I’m going to make sure I’m here. It’s time I add it to my list.

  7. What a neat opportunity!
    Pasadena is such a beautiful place to visit! I was there in 94 and wanted to stay. Forever. But it wasn’t in the cards .

    1. Lesley says:

      I love it too. The city has such a fantastic vibe both during the day and at night. Everyone was so active and the yards were a fair size for California.

  8. Kimberly Stroh says:

    That looks like a fun experience! I’ve been to the parade but not the games.

    1. Lesley says:

      I haven’t been to the parade. It needs to go on my list.

  9. Stacey says:

    What a totally cool opportunity! We were in Southern California over New Year’s Day – so we went by the day after to tour the Rose Parade floats. It was so neat to see them up close. Kinda like your up close view of the stadium! Loved the pics.

  10. Sarah says:

    Sounds like you guys had a really great time!

  11. Debra says:

    What an amazing and fun experience! I was there quite a few years ago when I was in the Rose Parade. It was a blast.

    1. Lesley says:

      You were in the parade? Tell me more 🙂

  12. CourtneyLynne says:

    I’ve driven by the rose bowl statium when I was on a trip to Cali once but never actually went!!! Must of been a pretty neat experience to see it up close and personal 🙂

  13. Sounds like a fun experience, I’ve never been but would love to someday. Hey, as long as there is food, I’m in!

  14. What a cool experience. I’ve had the opportunity to be on the field at a different stadium and it felt so exciting!

    1. Lesley says:

      Wouldn’t it be cool to be on the field during a game? 🙂

  15. Lillie says:

    What a thrilling opportunity! Though I’m not a football fan, it’s insider peeks like this that really make a person appreciate the importance and history of the game and place.

  16. What a fun place to tour! I love football stadiums. You can almost feel the crowd when they’re empty!

  17. Krystal says:

    My husband would want to see this up close and personal! We like to go to games but have never gone to a football game together!

    1. Lesley says:

      It’s fun to learn a little about it before going to a game so you know what’s happening but the energy at a game is worth it in itself.

  18. Yona Williams says:

    I enjoyed the Rose Bowl facts. I started to say that football was one of the professional sporting events that I haven’t enjoyed yet, but I actually have…preseason game, though.

  19. Eve Redmond says:

    Oh wow that looks awesome and so cool that you got a private tour!

  20. Monroe Bishop says:

    Sounds exciting and fun. I would love the experience …

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