The Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the group behind the annual Rose Bowl Game, has criticized the city of Pasadena, Calif., calling its attempts to control where the game is held each year a “naked power grab.”
According to Law360, the nonprofit Pasadena Tournament of Roses is asking a federal court to allow its suit over the right to host the game outside of the city in certain situations to move forward. Local pandemic mitigation restrictions would have prevented the most recent edition of the “Granddaddy of Them All” from hosting even players’ families — and so the game was moved to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, instead. That arrangement was agreed to by both the city and the tournament after the College Football Playoff Committee invoked force majeure language in a master license agreement.
The lawsuit, which was filed after the city allegedly notified the tournament that it would not be able to move the game outside of Pasadena again without its consent, asserts that the tournament has the right to move the game under a force majeure situation in the future.
The city has reportedly sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming that it only gave “one-time” approval for the game to be moved in an effort to avoid litigation.
"While this lawsuit was never the tournament's desire, it is clear such action is necessary to put a stop to the city's campaign of wrongfully claiming and representing and using the tournament's property as its own," the Tournament of Roses argued. "The motion to dismiss should be denied in its entirety."