Dedicated to the HATRED of all things trOJan


The Granddaddy of Them All is definitely worth the trip (ANY trip).

Can you please help get a Rose Bowl fan from Bismarck, North Dakota in sync with the way a first-time visitor should enjoy the Greatest Football Venue in the World?

Yesterday was what Fred Roggin called the slowest Sports News day of the year.  With Football and Basketball in the off-season, and with Baseball on the All-Star Break, Soccer and Hockey got the “headlines.”  It would have been a nice day to take off, but instead, let’s help a guy who is either USING us to write some assignment for him, or is sincerely coming from North Dakota, just to take in a Bruin game at the Rose Bowl.

As you’ll see from his e-mail, which is posted as the first comment below, he asks very specific and sweeping questions about the experience of coming to Pasadena.  It sounds like he is a Journalism student, whose homework is to write a travel journal piece, and he chose “Tailgating.”  Or maybe he answered one of those Craigslist ads, and is now writing for a blog, about a subject that he doesn’t know anything about…

BUT — Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.  What if he really is just a nice guy from Bismarck, and he’s really coming out here for a game?  Okay, so below, there will be SOME ideas to help him plan his trip.  Hopefully, YOU will fill in the blanks, especially with local Bars and Restaurants.

Unfortunately, there is a chance that no one will respond, thinking that the request is NOT legitimate.  But think about it THIS way:  Maybe this guy isn’t for real, but there are lots of out-of-State readers of this site who might appreciate some solid information.  So please help provide a wealth of information, for ANY Bruin/Rose Bowl fans who might be considering an excursion to the legendary stadium.  And you know what would be REALLY cool?  If someone totally STEPPED UP, and invited this guy to their tailgate party!  Then he’d end up putting all the paranoia to bed.  Betcha they aren’t this mistrustful in the Dakotas.  But who knows?  The word “Dakota” had never been typed here before today, without the word “Fanning” right after it.


1. BUYING TICKETS — Most games are NOT sell outs.  If you don’t mind end zone seats, or seats way high up CLOSE to the end zone, then you can just buy your tickets on site, right before the game.  Don’t try that for the usc game, though, because that one WILL be sold out. 

If you desire better seats, you can TRY the UCLA Central Ticket Office (you MAY get lucky) NOW, but you’ll probably have to use another source like VIP Tickets.  Most people will suggest that you try a website called “stubhub.”  If you want tickets for the Tennessee game, you can probably outbid my Wife for “her pair,” since it’s on a very, very rare “school night.”

2. BEST SECTIONS — If you go to a day game early in the year, you might want to sit on the SHADY side of the stadium, sections 15-22.  The best sections on that West side are 18 and 19.  The best sections on the Sunny side are 4 and 5.  The End Zones sections are 9-14, and 23-28.  The opposing team’s fans sit in the corner by sections 12 and 13, and if you’re really in the mood to Cheer loudly for UCLA, sit in Section 2, where the famous UCLA Alumni Cheerleader and his cult-like following are stationed.  And no matter what section, you don’t want to be too low — nothing below row 12-ish?  And if you are higher than row 40, you’ll need binoculars.  There is a video screen, but it’s not all that “responsive.”

3. TAILGATING — Without a doubt, you have to find “Lot H.”  That is where the die hard Bruin fans get there early, set up barbecues and satellite dishes, and congregate in long-established, but visitor-friendly groups.  It is on the South side of the stadium, OPPOSITE of the Golf Course, where you will probably be forced to park.  In Lot H, they also have some Official food and merchandise stands, and an In-n-Out or Carl’s Jr. truck set up.  There is one more reason to go to Lot H, but you’ll have to wait for #5 for it.

4. PRE- & POST-GAME BARS AND RESTAURANTS —  On this one, the READERS will have to help you out.  “We” roll out of bed, and head straight to the stadium, bringing our own food with us, and go straight home afterwards, to go through around 700 photographs (half of Fooball, half of Spirit), all night long, in order to share the best 20ish with the public by around 7am the next morning.

5.  UCLA SPIRIT SQUAD:  Two and a half hours before kickoff, the Dance Team, Cheerleaders, and Mascots all line up in front of the buses that drop the Bruin Players off at the venue.  The Spirit Squad gets what looks like a couple thousand fans lined up on both sides of a roped-off corridor, and everyone goes nuts as the Team and Coaches do the “Walk-In.”  The first one of this season should be quite emotional, what with the new Coach in place. 

By the way, all this info may be moot, since a new Coach could institute completely new procedures and timing this season.  But all this info is solid, based on having gone to every game the Bruins have ever played at the Rose Bowl.  Hopefully, any new changes will be minor.

Continuing with #5, which is arguably the most important info that can be imparted here –Right after the Walk-In, the entire Bruin Spirit Squad PERFORMS entire routines for an Alumni Group set up in Lot H.  Remember that Lot H was mandatory?  This is why.  Fans can sit right in front of the performing area, and watch the best Spirit Squad in the World do what they do best.

If you are a shutterbug, make SURE to bring your camera, and come for a DAY game, when the photos will come out much, much better.

During the game, the Spirit Squad usually performs in front of the Band and Student Section, near North-east corner Sections 2 and 3.  At one point, they treat the South corners (Sec 1/2 and Sec 21/22) to 10-minute, all-too-brief, glimpses.  But honestly, seeing them up close before the game BLOWS AWAY the view from the seats.  And again, don’t forget your binoculars (no matter where your seats are).

6.  BEST GAME TO ATTEND — Definitely usc, IF:  a)You are able to get/afford a ticket; b) You don’t mind being surrounded by a whole bunch of obnoxious and arrogant trojans; and c) You’re not intent on seeing the Bruins WIN.  The UCLA-usc Rivalry Game is one of the greatest spectacles in all of Sports, and this year might mark the historic return of both teams wearing their home jerseys.  The emotion at this annual battle is off the chart.  Of course, most of that emotion is uncontrollable HATE.

If that isn’t your cup of tea, then Tennessee is the choice.  Although it is on Labor Day Night, it is a great match-up, against a perennial powerhouse.  The Vols are favored by a lot, but the Bruins have a history of playing up to their competition at the Rose Bowl.  The rest of the games are:  Arizona, Fresno State, Washington State, Stanford, and Oregon State.  Fresno will probably be the toughest for the Bruins, and Fresno and Arizona will be the toughest on your skin, as they are both midday September games, bound to be over 100 degrees on the field and in the stands.  Bring lots of sunblock, and a hat.  Also highly recommended is a “Mister Fan” — A hand-held fan that sprays cold water at you.

7. CAMPUS — If you go to UCLA’s beautiful campus, which is 45 minutes away from the Rose Bowl, make sure to see legendary Pauley Pavilion (before they renovate it) and the Wooden Center, the UCLA Hall of Fame, the Student Store, the SCULPTURE GARDEN, and iconic Royce Hall.

8.  TRANSPO — Rent a car?  And get a convertible, if you can afford the high cost.  Taking Public Transportation in L.A. is something that not too many people brag about, but supposedly it’s a lot better now than it was 20 years ago.  They have buses that run right up to the Rose Bowl gate.  There are taxis in L.A., too, but you can’t always flag one down when you need one, like in N.Y., and they, too are costly.  Dakotans have the right idea — L.A. would be a lot better if people got around on HORSEBACK.

That’s it for now.  Hopefully, a great many (i.e. “5”) people will chime in with agreements, disagreements, additions, and especially, local Pasadena Bars and Restaurants.  I’d also like opinions on whether this whole request is on the level.  But the best possible response would be someone from out of State who appreciates the info, or a Bruin tailgater willing to invite this guy to their shin-dig.

Here are 3 mouse-over captioned photos taken at the Pre-game Lot H Tailgate Party — Click on them to see just how close you can get to the action at UCLA.

 They are all really nice, friendly Girls — Fans can even TALK to them.

It’s like being Front Row Center at the Miss Universe Pageant — But BLOCK MY LENS and I’ll CUT you!!!  (Just kidding — I’d just BEG you to get “down in front!”)

And when you take your OWN photos, you don’t have to crop them.

Welcome to the Rose Bowl — Hope you have more fun than a pig in slop.

"SYNC THE BISMARCK!" was published on July 17th, 2008 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, UCLA/usc/Cheerleader Photos.

Comments on "SYNC THE BISMARCK!": 7 Comments

  1. G.R. wrote,

    Just wondering if you could give me some advice on attending a game at the Rose Bowl. My sister recently moved to Las Vegas. I plan to make a drive from Vegas to Pasadena to catch a game. I have always wanted to attend a big time college football game and this gives me an opportunity to attend a PAC-10 event. I live in the Big Ten area but I just don’t care for Michigan or Ohio State etc. I think the best tailgating and experience would be better in the Pac 10 and with the Rose Bowl voted the best venue in college sports it is a no brainer . What I am looking for is how to purchase the best tickets. What is the best section to sit in. Where is the best place to tailgate. What is the best pre and post game bars and restaurants to attend. Where to get to see the lovely dance team before or during the game. What is the best game to attend, What to see and do on campus. The best way to get around etc. I was thinking about USC but I don’t feel like going to Downtown LA as I feel I would not be safe. I know I am only 15 or so miles away but I just think I would love the feel of old time Pasadena.Please advise.

  2. Group29 wrote,

    Having also come from Big Ten country to a Bruin game the Rose Bowl, I could probably have written this before the 2007 Notre Dame game. The whole stadium experience has vastly improved from when the Bruins were at the Coliseum, and even the early years when they were just settling in at the Rose Bowl stadium. If I were to throw a dart, I would aim for the Stanford game. Probably a Bruin win, and usually a very good crowd for the Bay area teams. Based upon my experience, game day seems to revolve around the stadium, because people come from all over, get to the game then go home. You may find in old town that many will be unaware that a game was even going on. Sunscreen is a must on the east side. It might be fun to begin and end your day in Westwood instead.

  3. J wrote,

    I’ve never been to a game at the Rose Bowl but listen to T-H, he’s practically a historian. Sounds like a good travel guide too!

  4. Robert wrote,

    I would be more than happy to play host to this man at my tailgate parties. As for the Bars in Pasadena I will have to get back to you because I don’t remember the names off the top of my head, but if you’re being serious T-H can give you my email and we can communicate that way. I own 13 season tickets, so my tailgate parties are fun and I never miss a game. So no matter which game you choose to attend, I’ll be there, and if other Bruin fans want to welcome you as well to their parties, well then you can just make the rounds that day and have extra fun. Fair enough?

  5. Greg wrote,

    This is indeed legitimate so keep the cards and letters coming as they say. This is GR and this is no journalism assignment or blog. I just want to have the best experience possible attending the Rose Bowl. Finding this website and the ton of Bruin fans who visit, I figure I would get great intel and feedback. Thank you for the time and space and see you in Pasedena.

  6. scrubsoth wrote,


    just to clarify. i dont know if the rosebowl has changed their seating chart. however, if the dance team perform right by the student and band section, wouldnt the closest seat there be section 6 (according to stubhub rosebowl seating chart). but you had mentioned that they’d be in sections 2 and 3. just wondering if you can clear this up for me? thanks.

    [T-H’s Note: The section numbers have NOT changed. The Northeast quadrant of the stadium is where the UCLA Student section and band are stationed. That would be sections 5-9 (approximately). The Spirit Squad moves around the stadium ONCE, to do little performances in other areas: The go to Section 2 (Southeast corner) where Geof Strand and the Alumni band are; They go to Section 20/21 (Southwest corner); and they go to the South endzone, to wake up the kids who are bused to the games and get in free as part of a promotion. I’m not sure if they do a number for the North end zone too, since they are so close to it throughout the game. They also might do something closer to the 50, on the shady (west) side, but I’m not positive about that. I hope this clears up any misinformation that I might have accidentally imparted previously.]

  7. promosyon wrote,

    Thank you for your post it is valuable information for me

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