90,000 fans expected at Rose Bowl for USA-Mexico soccer game on Saturday
With more than 90,000 soccer fans expected Saturday for the sellout game between USA and Mexico at the Rose Bowl, attendees are being asked to arrive early, and everyone else is requested to stay away.
And officials are warning fans to leave the vuvuzelas at home. The noisy plastic horns made infamous during the 2010 World Cup are banned from the stadium.
Fanatical soccer fans are expected to begin pouring into the parking lots surrounding the Rose Bowl up to six hours before Saturday’s 6 p.m. kickoff of the Gold Cup Final. The game will determine the North America conference champions.
Stadium officials and Pasadena police say fans should consider carpooling and taking public transportation. If not parked in the lot by 4 p.m., they are unlikely to get inside in time for kickoff.
Fans who arrive early will get to participate in Futbol Fiesta, a free, 120,000-square-foot interactive zone featuring games, music and prizes that begins at 2 p.m. in the Area H parking lot on the stadium's south side.
Heavy congestion is expected on the Pasadena, Foothill and Ventura freeways from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
To cut down on traffic, fans are encouraged to use the Metro Gold Line and the Old Pasadena shuttle bus, which is free and begins service at 3 p.m. It runs for 90 minutes after the game ends.
In addition to vuvuzelas, stadium umbrellas, backpacks, handbags and other items larger than 8-by-10-by-14 inches are banned. Also banned: coolers, large cameras, video cameras, whistles, electronic noisemakers, beach balls, soccer balls and flags on poles.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: An aerial view of the Rose Bowl. Credit: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau