The Rose Bowl is part of the Bowl Championship Series, a number of American College Football games played in December and January each year as an addendum to the regular season. The teams that take place on the Bowl Series are selected based on a pretty mind-bending eligibility criteria that I have to concede defeats me in the logic stakes. If you are interested in exactly how this works then this Wiki article makes a far better fist of it than I could manage.
The other big games in the Bowl Series take place across the country and include the Orange Bowl in Florida, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ and culminating with the Discover BCS National Championship at Sun Life Stadium Miami Gardens, FL on January 7th.
The Rose Bowl in 2013 is the 99th anniversary of the game, so I think we can expect a big centenary celebration next year. The participants this year are the Wisconsin Badgers and the Stanford Cardinal. There is a link for tickets at the foot of this page, but as of the mid December the game is a 90,000+ sell out so your only real chance of attending now is if you have a contact with one of the sponsors.
The Bowl games are all characterised by their pre-game entertainment, which is especially vibrant due to the ongoing holiday season. In Pasadena the game is part of the Tournament of Roses, where the big event is the Rose Parade, but once inside the stadium there is still more than enough to warm up the crowd, with live music and a range of performers. The festivities will be presided over by the current Queen of the Tournament of Roses, Vanessa Manjarrez.
The competing teams this year to follow
The US broadcast rights for the Rose Bowl have now been secured by ESPN. To watch online this does require a payable subscription but there is the convenience of a 24 hour pass if you just wish to pay for one game rather than an ongoing monthly subscription. If you're a regular football watcher though the annual fee represents a decent overall saving:
If you're planning on some time in Pasadena over the holiday period and looking for somewhere to stay to attend the Rose Bowl then you can check out availability and make online reservations for local hotels here.
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