The Rose Bowl's temporary move to Texas due to COVID-19 has resulted in a lawsuit
Due to local restrictions around COVID-19 in Pasadena, Calif., the Rose Bowl was played in Arlington, Texas, last season. That decision has resulted in a lawsuit.
The legal battle seems to be about naming rights. More specifically, who owns the trademarks to the Rose Bowl — the Tournament of Roses or the city of Pasadena?
The Tournament of Roses released a statement to the LA Times about this lawsuit.
“Although the dispute originated in the move of this year’s game to Arlington, Texas, as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a move agreed to by the city, it has persisted through the city’s continued insistence that it is the co-owner of the marks and that its consent is necessary to invoke the MLA’s ‘force majeure’ clause,” read a Tournament of Roses statement released Thursday night. “While the Association has no plans or desire to move the game in the future … it does need a court’s clarification of its contractual and ownership rights.”
Although the game was not played at the Rose Bowl stadium this year, it still carried the Rose Bowl monicker.
According to the LA Times, the agreement between the Tournament of Roses and the city of Pasadena requires the game to be played at the Rose Bowl stadium, except in the event of a “force majeure.”
The game was moved from California, in-part, because local restrictions would have prevented family of players from attending the game.
Tournament of Roses director David Eeads spoke with the LA Times over the weekend and indicated that the only reason for the lawsuit is to determine ownership of the trademarks.
“That’s the reason for the filing,” he told the LA Times. “We are not seeking monetary damage. We live and work in this community and have no desire to do harm to the city or community, but as a matter of business, it’s important that we clarify our rights.”
The Rose Bowl should be back to normal next season, hosting Big Ten and Pac-12 teams on New Year’s Day in Pasadena.