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A Team Message to Start the New Year: Legacy’s 2023 Year is a Springboard for 2024 Success

December 30, 2023

Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation Family,

On behalf of our growing Board of Directors, Advisory Board and national donor family…. Happy New Year!!!  With the turning of the calendar, we reflect on the successes, failures, and perseverance of 2023 and the positive unknowns of 2024.  We trust that your holiday season was a memorable one and that this morning’s opportunity to turn the page to something fresh and new is welcomed by each of you.

It’s game day for the Rose Bowl Game® at the world’s most iconic open-air stadium – America’s Stadium right here in Pasadena.  It is anticipated that a record number of television viewers will watch today’s game around the world and coupled with the viewership and attendance of the Rose Parade®, today might just be the brightest spotlight on our historic venue in a generation.  Enjoy it all, soak it in, and know that we would NOT be here today to attack our future if it wasn’t for your generous support of the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation.

With the evolution of college football, UCLA starting play in the Big Ten Conference, and the downhill sprint toward the Stadium’s third Olympic Games in 2028, the next year is sure to be exciting.

As we close out the fundraising year, which will yield more than $4 million in new gross gifts and pledges from contributors around the country (not including an estimated $1-$2 million annually from SB 96 – see below!), here are some incredible highlights of 2023 and victories for Legacy and thus, the Rose Bowl Stadium’s future.  These valuable benchmarks will help us continue to strengthen the trajectory of where 2024 is leading us.  You each had a hand in all of these – THANK YOU FOR TRUSTING US.

The Signing of Senate Bill 96 into California Law

Signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on October 8, 2023, the Historic Venue Restoration & Resiliency Act was championed by Senator Anthony Portantino and led by the Rose Bowl, SB 96 was also backed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Assemblymember Chris Holden, Mayor Victor Gordo, and a host of other political leaders across the state that applauded the action.

The new law allows a portion of the sales and use tax revenue generated at those facilities to remain in-house, for restoration, infrastructure, safety, security, and maintenance.  SB 96 did not seek allocations from the state's General Fund to support the preservation of these venues. Instead, it will use the sales and tax revenue generated by its live events to reinvest in each respective venue's infrastructure. 

The positive impact for America’s Stadium is estimated to be $1-2 million annually over the next five years of the law’s life cycle.


The passing of SB 96 continues Legacy’s steadfast commitment to statewide and federal efforts with our elected officials to assist in funding opportunities to protect, preserve, and enhance the future of the Rose Bowl Stadium. 

Launch of the Historic Stadium Caucus

Strength in numbers… The Legacy Foundation and Stadium led the forming and kickoff of the Historic Stadium Caucus that took place on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. back in August. Led by U.S. Representatives Garret Graves (R–Louisiana) and Mark Pocan (D–Wisconsin), the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Caucus has a mission to ensure historic college football stadiums are safeguarded by staying up to date with the latest technological advancements and security measures, as well as environmental practices, all while preserving their rich historical legacy.


The Historic Stadium Caucus already has 22 participating stadiums working together in the early stages and is the first caucus to focus on the important characterization of historic college football stadiums.  It will continue to bring together a bipartisan group of Congressmembers to work on preserving the legacy and protecting the integrity of treasured venues across America. The Caucus will also focus on enhancing the venues’ capabilities, so they can continue to host world-class sporting events and concerts for generations to come.


Ribbon-Cutting of the California High School Football Hall of Fame at the Rose Bowl Stadium

In late August, the Legacy Foundation held a private ribbon-cutting and opening ceremony to dedicate the California High School Football Hall of Fame at the Rose Bowl Stadium. The project, which was established because of two leadership pledges to the Foundation from prominent philanthropists and business leaders Brian Panish and Mickey Segal, formally opened on the opening weekend of the 2023 college football season.  Philanthropist and ardent Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation supporter Brian Kennedy also provided a key commitment to elevate the project’s impact.  

The establishment of the California High School Football Hall of Fame was opened in partnership with the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), the National Football Foundation (NFF), the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Rose Bowl Stadium.  The project will honor the history, quality, and overall impact of players, coaches, and integral moments that have shaped the landscape of high school football in the state.   100 players and 13 coaches were selected for the inaugural class, symbolizing the Stadium’s centennial year.  Subsequent classes will be selected every other year.


The Hall of Fame, located at Tunnel 19 on the West side of the stadium, is open to all fans on game days or through the Stadium’s tour program.


James Washington named the second President of the Rose Bowl Institute 

On December 1, the Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation announced the appointment of James Washington as its new Rose Bowl Institute President. The Foundation is the parent organization of the Rose Bowl Institute. Washington, a Southern California native via Watts and Whittier and alumnus of David Starr Jordan High School in Los Angeles, is a UCLA alum, Rose Bowl Game® champion, and two-time Super Bowl winner with the Dallas Cowboys.


The Rose Bowl Institute’s mission is to champion sportsmanship and to “leverage the power of sports to unite people everywhere.” The generosity of a growing number of local and national donors, and its national influencer Advisory Board, allows the Institute to provide free programming that supports and strengthens members of society. Among the programming are panels on women’s empowerment and civic literacy, and Rose Table Dialogues that focus on private, roundtable discussions that impact today’s society and sports world. It has reached over 40,000 youth nationally and internationally across almost all 50 states and in 8 countries.

“The Rose Bowl Institute is the right organization created at the right time to address the core values of sport relevant to our generation today,” said Washington. “Through Sportsmanship, Civic Literacy and Leadership we can make a difference and create impact on our youth and the greater society. I’m just a kid who went from Watts to Westwood and had the unique opportunity to find myself at the White House (after my Super Bowl victory).”

Washington is one of the only athletes to participate in a rare trifecta at America’s Stadium, playing at the iconic venue as a UCLA Bruin when he was an All-American safety under legendary Bruin Head Coach Terry Donahue, and participating in and winning a Rose Bowl Game® and Super Bowl XXVII as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. In addition to winning back-to-back Super Bowls as the captain of the Cowboys’ defense, Washington also suited up for the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins during his eight-year career in the NFL. During his UCLA career, Washington won two Pac-10 Conference championships and four bowl games before graduating in 1987 with a degree in History.

The Institute also continued awarding scholarships within the Pasadena community and beyond, including at the annual Turkey Tussle rivalry between Pasadena High School and John Muir High School – providing a sportsmanship award to one member of each team.

Adding to the Stadium’s Heritage on Campus

In 2023, several projects were added to continue the ‘walking museum’ around the Rose Bowl Stadium. Over the years, historic photos, historical markers, statues, and key projects like the 1922 Locker Room Museum, the Western Asset Court of Champions, the California High School Football Hall of Fame, and the Legacy Foundation Offices at Tunnel 7A have added to the education for all visitors and the acknowledgment of the special history that brought us here today. 

In October, the Stadium dedicated its fifth statue to legendary UCLA Head Coach and all-time wins leader in the Pac-12 Conference, Terry Donahue.  The public dedication event was attended by almost 500 family members, donors, former players, and coaches in an incredible celebration of Terry’s legacy.  His bronze statue joins Jackie Robinson, the 1999 Team USA Women’s World Cup Champions and Keith Jackson on the property of America’s Stadium.  Terry’s pose is highlighted with 151 roses around his feet – one for each of his record-setting victories, including five conference titles. 


The Stadium also added four key historical markers to its concourse collection, acknowledging iconic heroes in Rose Bowl Stadium lore – Fritz Pollard (1916 Rose Bowl Game® for Brown University), Coach Eddie Robinson (1968 Junior Rose Bowl / Pasadena Bowl) and George Halas (1919 Rose Bowl Game® MVP).  The historical markers are the fourth, fifth and sixth on the Stadium’s property joining plaques honoring Stadium Architect Myron Hunt and the Home of the Rose Bowl Game® (both located on Gate A) and Peyton Manning (located at Tunnel 16), who took his first collegiate snaps in America’s Stadium.


Pro Football Hall of Fame and Rose Bowl Stadium Partnership 

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, announced a new partnership between the organizations. The collaboration will highlight key moments, players, and the impact of Hall of Famers during the 101-year history of America’s Stadium.

The Rose Bowl Stadium’s rich football history has included five Super Bowls, the annual Rose Bowl Game® (since 1923), UCLA Football (since 1982), and numerous high-profile high school and exhibition games. The venue’s 100-plus-year football history undoubtedly has been impacted by many people enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  As part of the partnership, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will provide key artifacts on loan to the Rose Bowl Stadium for public display to educate fans and visitors to the storied venue. The artifacts will be presented in historical spaces around the venue, such as the 1922 Locker Room Museum (opened in 2017 at Tunnel 15A) and the newly established California High School Football Hall of Fame (set to open Summer of 2023).


As 1978 Rose Bowl Game® MVP Warren Moon, who also sits on the Legacy Foundation Advisory Board, mentioned in his op-ed this past week for The Hill, ”….venues like the Rose Bowl Stadium hold a value to society that is unmatched…. These historic stadiums are vital to the fabric of their local communities and, for many, are the heartbeat of local economies across the country…. In Pasadena, where one of my crowning on-the-field moments took place in 1978, the annual Rose Bowl Game® is one of the biggest economic impact events in all of Los Angeles County.  That type of economic infusion cannot be underestimated or replaced, especially in smaller towns and cities that rely on these iconic stadiums as engines for growth, tourism, and prosperity…. Beyond the dollars and cents, these stadiums create lasting memories, unite diverse communities, and serve as beacons of hope and inspiration for generations. They are so much more than just grass, goalposts, and concrete.”

With incredible gratitude and wishes to each of you on a successful start to 2024 from the entire Legacy team,

Dedan Brozino
Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, President

Brian Brantley
Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation, Vice President of Advancement

Kelli Gill
Director of Advancement and Stewardship