Over the last few days, there have been multiple suggestions that the Rose Bowl, one of this year’s College Football Playoff semifinal games, may not take place as scheduled on Jan. 1.
Earlier this month, it was announced that the Rose Bowl would not host fans for the game. That is no surprise, given the mounting restrictions on large gatherings in the state of California. Per reports, the changes may go farther than that.
Yahoo‘s Pete Thamel says that officials are looking at the possibility that the Rose Bowl will be moved to another site for the year. AT&T Stadium in North Texas is cited in the report. He adds that Rose Bowl leadership is confident that the game will go forward in Pasadena.
On Monday, The Athletic followed up Thamel’s report, saying that ACC, SEC, and Notre Dame leadership working with the College Football Playoff management committee, are considering pushing for a move, in order to allow for players’ families to attend the game. That may not be possible right now. Per the report, that move might strain the CFP’s relationship with the Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena. If the game is relocated, it also would not use the “Rose Bowl” branding. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has replied to The Athletic report.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 15, 2020
“The SEC is not part of an initiative to relocate the CFP Semifinal Game from the Rose Bowl to another location,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement in response to The Athletic piece. “As commissioner of the SEC, I am a member of the Management Committee of the CFP which has the responsibility to understand the current environment related to conducting the semifinal at the Rose Bowl.
“Any implication that the SEC is part of a proactive charge or lobbying effort to change the location of any CFP location is inaccurate.”
It is certainly understandable that those representing potential playoff teams like Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M would want fans and family members to attend. Still, the potential to lose the Rose Bowl as a rotating CFP site might not be worth losing.