Fans Told to Arrive Early for Saturday's UCLA-USC Football Game
Carpooling and trains encouraged. Security concerns remain after stabbing two years ago
Rose Bowl officials are strongly recommending that fans arrive at the stadium by 9 a.m. for Saturday's UCLA-USC football game to avoid delays.
Carpooling, parking at the Parsons Engineering lot and taking a shuttle bus to the stadium or using public transportation is also encouraged.
Having four people in a car instead of three will result in 8,000 fewer vehicles on the road, greatly streamlining traffic and parking, according to Lauren Mirson, a marketing and communications consultant for the Rose Bowl.
Fans can take the Metro Gold Line to the Memorial Park Station, then walk two blocks to the Parsons Engineering shuttle lot at Union and Delacey streets to take the free shuttle bus to the Rose Bowl.
The Pasadena Police Department is advising fans without parking passes to enter the parking lots from the north of the Rose Bowl. The stadium parking lots will open at 6 a.m.
Alcohol consumption is not permitted in the parking lots after kickoff, which is scheduled for noon. Any persons remaining in the parking lot consuming alcohol after the game starts may be cited.
The game is being played at the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2010, when two people were stabbed in a fight outside the stadium before the game.
Witnesses said the fight broke out between two groups of tailgaters when a football tossed by a Bruin fan accidentally hit a Mercedes-Benz owned by a Trojan fan. Pasadena police Cmdr. Darryl Qualls said alcohol and the rivalry helped spur the fight.
Pasadena police Lt. Phlunte Riddle said this week that one factor in the problems before the 2010 game was that police were told a crowd of around 70,000 was expected "so we staffed accordingly for the spectators."
"What no one could tell us... was that some 20,000-plus fans came to tailgate only," Riddle said. "They didn't have tickets, they never intended to enter the game. We opened the lot significantly earlier. It was a late kickoff and therefore there was excessive drinking."
UCLA police officials and officers representing various other public safety departments will be closely monitoring spectators throughout the day at the Rose Bowl and enforcing the Southern California Fan Code of Conduct.
The code includes asking fans to refrain from: using profanity or other offensive language, whether spoken or appearing on apparel; excessive alcohol consumption; throwing items or liquids; and fighting or other threatening behavior. Failure to comply with the code may subject offenders to ejection or arrest.
"We want our fans to come and have the ultimate experience, enjoying the camaraderie and seeing friends that they probably sometimes only see once a year," Riddle told City News Service. "We're asking them to leave the attitudes at home and bring their best face and best conduct to the Rose Bowl."
The UCLA and USC athletic directors have asked their schools' fans to exercise discretion and sportsmanship Saturday.
"Anytime we have a home game, it is my expectation that our fans and everyone associated with UCLA will put their best foot forward and create a friendly atmosphere for all visitors at the Rose Bowl, including those from the opposing team," UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said.
"While the game will no doubt be played with great enthusiasm on both sides, it is important to remember that UCLA and USC are part of the same Los Angeles community and this rivalry should be celebrated with graciousness and class."
Added USC athletic director Pat Haden: "The USC-UCLA cross-town rivalry brings out the best in both teams. Let's make sure it brings out the best in our fans too.
"If you are wearing cardinal and gold on Saturday, please show respect, sportsmanship and class to the fans and players in the blue and gold. Behaving properly will make this game a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone."
First-year Bruin coach Jim Mora made a video that appears on YouTube asking fans "to let the rivalry play itself out on the field and not in the stands and not in the parking lot."
The winner of the game between UCLA (8-2 and 5-2 in Pacific-12 Conference play), and USC (7-3, 5-3) is assured of the conference's South Division championship and the accompanying berth in the conference's championship game Nov. 30. The Trojans are a 3 1/2-point favorite, according to the gambling website BetOnline.
An 80 percent chance of light rain is forecast, with the temperature at kickoff expected to be 62 degrees, according to Kathy Hoxsie, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
USC has won five consecutive games and 12 of their last 13 against the Bruins, including a 50-0 triumph last season. UCLA's only win in that stretch came in 2006 and denied the Trojans a berth in Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.
USC leads the series, 46-28-7, although its victories in 2004 and 2005 were later vacated after it was penalized by the NCAA.
The winning team will be awarded the Victory Bell, a 295-pound bell originally hung atop a Southern Pacific freight locomotive. It was given to the UCLA Alumni Association in 1939 but taken by a group of USC students in 1941.
A year later, the student body presidents of both schools signed an agreement providing that the winner of the football game would keep possession for the next year. it has become a tradition.
The noon start time is a result of Fox choosing the game for its noon broadcast window, according to Nick Ammazzalorso, UCLA's executive director of athletic communications.
ESPN, which had the first choice among Pacific-12 Conference games, selected the game between Oregon, ranked first in The Associated Press media poll, and 14th-ranked Stanford, to air in prime time for ABC, starting at 5 p.m. on the West Coast, Ammazzalorso said.
Less than 10,000 tickets remained for the game Thursday afternoon, Ammazzalorso said. Tickets can be purchased online at uclabruins.com or by calling (310) UCLA-Win.
Copyright 2013 City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.