Tournament Park

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A Tournament of Roses chariot race being held at Tournament Park

Tournament Park is a park and athletics venue in Pasadena, California, currently maintained by the California Institute of Technology. It was simply known as the "town lot" before renamed Tournament Park in 1900.[1] Tournament Park gets its name from the Tournament of Roses, and it served as a venue in the early 20th century for events associated with the Tournament, such as chariot races, ostrich races, and even a race between a camel and an elephant.[2][3] It is best known for being the site of the first Rose Bowl Game in 1902, and the second to eighth Rose Bowl Games from 1916 to 1922 before the Rose Bowl opened in 1923. Its capacity at the time was 43,000 people, many of which were in temporary wooden bleachers that the city deemed unsafe, thus necessitating the construction of the Rose Bowl.[4] Besides hosting Tournament of Roses events, the venue also hosted the Southern California Horse Show Association's annual horse show in the early 20th century.[5] Tournament Park hosted a handful of USC football games in the 1910s and 1920s prior to the construction of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum[6]

Following the departure of the Rose Bowl Game, the facility's capacity was reduced substantially. Tournament Park, along with the Rose Bowl, served as the venue for Caltech's football team until the school dropped football. The stadium, now known as South Athletic Field, is bounded by the Fox-Stanton Track (named after former Caltech football coach Fox Stanton), and continues to serve as Caltech's track and field venue. The surrounding park, which continues under the Tournament Park moniker, contains a playground and picnic facility.[7]

Bowl Games at Tournament Park[edit]

Panoramic shot of 1st Rose Bowl Game, held in 1902 at Tournament Park
The first Rose Bowl Game in 1902 (left)
Panoramic shots of two Rose Bowl Games played at Tournament Park.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tournament of Roses History". Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  2. ^ Dan O'Sullivan. "1902 - Michigan 49, Stanford 0". ESPN. 
  3. ^ "At Tournament Park: Hairs' Widths Avert a Row of Tragedies". Los Angeles Times. January 2, 1913. 
  4. ^ "Early Views of Pasadena". Pasadena Department of Water and Power. 
  5. ^ "With Splendid Showing and in Blaze of Beauty, Pasadena's Horse Show Opens in Idyllic Scene.". Los Angeles Times. March 8, 1907. 
  6. ^ "USC Football History" (PDF). 
  7. ^ "Tournament Park". California Institute of Technology, Facilities Management Department. 
Preceded by
First site
Host of the
Rose Bowl Game

1902, 1916-1922
Succeeded by
Rose Bowl Stadium

Coordinates: 34°8′3″N 118°7′39″W / 34.13417°N 118.12750°W / 34.13417; -118.12750