Records are made to be broken, but firsts are forever.
The inaugural College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual offers fans a unique opportunity to be a part of sports history when powerhouse programs No. 2 Oregon and No. 3 Florida State face off on New Year’s Day in Pasadena.
Enhanced by the lavish Rose Bowl hospitality village created by PrimeSport, the official fan-to-fan ticket exchange, VIP hospitality and travel package provider for the game, this watershed occasion becomes the ultimate Rose Bowl Game experience.
With the BCS system a thing of the past, college football has entered a new playoff era in which the four best teams in the country — Alabama and Ohio State are the others — square off in semifinal bowl games, with the winner of each advancing to play for the national title on Jan. 12.
The 12-member College Football Playoff Semifinal selection committee gifted football fans — and Angelenos — a doozy of a matchup between football’s two premier signal-callers: 2014 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota and the Pac-12 champion Ducks vs. 2013 Heisman winner Jameis Winston and the ACC title-winning Seminoles.
“I think [the CFP system] has brought a lot more interest to college football because it’s not all based on what’s going on with a computer,” said Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, who will host the Club PrimeSport VIP pregame party in the hospitality village. “There’s actual teams playing [and] there’s more teams that actually have a chance to win this thing, as opposed to just two.”
The meeting, the first between both schools, also marks the first time since Sept. 2011 (a span of 50 games) that undefeated Florida State will take the field as underdogs. The Seminoles’ confidence surely should be boosted by a 29-game winning streak and the memory of being crowned 2013 BCS National Champions at the Rose Bowl back in January.
Located in front of the famous Rose Bowl sign in the stadium’s Lot H, the official Rose Bowl hospitality village is where fans can turn the game into a premium all-day destination event. Open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on game day, it includes a sports bar, live entertainment, catering and private hospitality tents set amid six acres of custom-designed landscaping.
The Club PrimeSport VIP pregame party boasts a full bar, concierge and, of course, the chance to meet Moon, who starred in Washington’s surprise win over Michigan in the 1978 Rose Bowl Game and went on to an illustrious NFL career. Fans will also have the opportunity to meet ESPN sportscaster Michelle Beadle, who will emcee the festivities.
“I think the combination of the setting, the time of day when it’s on — when the whole nation can watch it — [and] the pageantry of the game itself is something that really, really makes it special,” said Moon, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, of the Rose Bowl Game.
For the first time this year, PrimeSport — an official partner of the Rose Bowl Game since 2007 — created an in-stadium hospitality package, which runs from an hour before kickoff through the end of the game at the Rose Bowl’s exclusive Blue Moon Club.
PrimeSport offers an array of comprehensive Rose Bowl Game packages for local and traveling fans alike, which can include not just tickets and hospitality but also hotels and game day transfers.
The matchup has all the makings to be one of the most memorable in the Rose Bowl Game’s storied 101-year history. And the pre- and post-game VIP experience provided by PrimeSport is the proverbial cherry on top.
—Paul Rogers, Brand Publishing Writer