Courthouse Staying Open Despite Rose Bowl Traffic Crunch

Dec. 26, 2001

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) – A judge says next week’s Rose Bowl game isn’t a judicial emergency and the courthouse will stay open, despite predictions that a crush of fans will clog city streets during the first-ever non-holiday football contest.

Private businesses and some local government agencies want to send employees home early Jan. 3. But courthouse officials rejected a suggestion by the city to close at noon and send the building’s 100 workers home early.

“A football game doesn’t really qualify as a judicial emergency,” Presiding Superior Court Judge Mary Thornton House said.

Normally, the Rose Bowl follows the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, or Jan. 2 if New Year’s Day falls on Sunday. But under the recently enacted rotating college football playoff format, the championship game will be played at the Rose Bowl this year, two days after the parade.

The Miami-Nebraska game kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday, with opening ceremonies set for 4:30 p.m. Police have urged fans to arrive by 3 p.m. because of anticipated traffic jams.