Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, Elon Musk and college football.
It sounds like the topic for an ESPN marketing meeting, but it’s the California-to-Texas shift. Just as the operations of major tech companies are moving to Texas, college football is following, at least temporarily, with a College Football Playoff semifinal moving from Pasadena, California, to Arlington, Texas.
The Rose Bowl announced Saturday that the Jan. 1 game will be moved to AT&T Stadium because of the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern California and the ability for players’ and coaches’ families to attend the game in the Dallas-area suburb of Arlington. In-person attendance has been banned by state restrictions in California since March, and Rose Bowl exemption requests for 400 to 500 spectators were denied by the state twice.
It will be the first time the game will not be played at the Rose Bowl since 1942, after the Pearl Harbor attack.
“We know that the decision was not an easy one to make,” Tournament of Roses CEO and Executive Director David Eads said in a statement. “While we remain confident that a game could have been played at the Rose Bowl Stadium, as evident in the other collegiate and professional games taking place in the region, the projection of COVID-19 cases in the region has continued on an upward trend.”
Just days ago, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly threatened to boycott the game if Fighting Irish families could not attend. Then Notre Dame got trounced by Clemson in the ACC Championship.
There have been 278,671 new coronavirus cases in the past week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We are very grateful to Rose Bowl officials and the City of Pasadena,” CFP executive director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “They have worked hard to listen to the concerns of the CFP, the teams that might have played there, and their state and government officials.”
It is unclear if the game will keep its mouthful licensing name: CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One.