Jul 20, 2013

New Tour Brings Rose Bowl History to Life

Rose Bowl Tour
The Rose Bowl is one of four college football stadiums designated as a National Historic Landmark. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Rahshaun Haylock - Fox Sports West - Thursday, June 20, 2013

It was just an old closet in a tunnel between the field and the main concourse. It served as a storage room for the concession vendors.

However, this wasn’t your rickety, run-of-the-mill storage unit. Somewhere along the way, the history of the room was lost on the Rose Bowl caretakers. This was no storage for hot dog buns.

In fact, it is an original Rose Bowl locker room from 1922.

Some of the legendary figures in the game of football once graced the floor in between those walls.

“I don’t know who’s locker room it was, but back in 1925, it was Notre Dame against Stanford (in the Rose Bowl game) and the two coaches were Knute Rockne and Pop Warner so one of the two was in there yelling at their players and motivating them and that type of stuff,” said Rose Bowl CEO and general manager Darryl Dunn.

The history of the old locker room has been preserved and is one of the sights to see when the Rose Bowl opens its gates to host tours beginning Saturday.

In place of hot dog buns or cups or lids or whatever other concession essentials that used to call the room home, will now be old posters and artifacts telling the great history of one of the nation’s most iconic stadiums.

The Rose Bowl is one of four college football stadiums designated as a National Historic Landmark -- the others are the Yale Bowl, Harvard Stadium, and the Los Angeles Coliseum.

While working on the renovation project, workers stumbled upon old artifacts that were a part of the Rose Bowl at one time or another.

Inside the room is an old bench that was once a part of the stadium in the 1930s. Also found was an old rusted trophy, an old license plate and even a Coke bottle from 1925.

“I think it’s cool,” Dunn said. “I think people will sort of like seeing that old vintage stuff.”

As a part of the tour, fans will get to see both the UCLA home locker room as well as the dressing room for the visitors. Fans will get to go into the bowels of the stadium and visit the press room where players and coaches address the media following games.

Rose Bowl Tour
Featured posters and artifacts help recount the history of
one of the nation's most iconic stadiums.
(Photo courtesy Rahshaun Haylock)


Also of note is a history lesson in the Court of Champions, which will be expanded during the next phase of the renovation project. To top it off, those that partake in the tour will be able to step on the actual field that hosts “The Grandaddy of Them All.”

These formal tours are the first of its kind in the history of the stadium. Officials say they hope to attract families as well as groups, both local and out of towners, as a means to pump money that is being used during the renovation project back into the Rose Bowl.

Stadium officials want visitors to have an experience similar to that of visiting a museum.

“You have some fun,” Dunn said. “You learn a little bit. You maybe appreciate it a little bit more.

“When I go to a museum, I feel like I’m better after I stepped out than I was when I stepped in.”

Tours are available at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.. Additional information regarding the tours can be found at Rosebowlstadium.com.