Pasadena hits back at Tournament of Roses in latest court filings – Daily News

on Mar4
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It’s no secret: Pasadena hasn’t been thrilled with the Tournament of Roses, not since the Tournament sued the city over the naming rights to the Rose Bowl Game. Ahead of a meeting with a federal judge, Pasadena’s lawyers are fighting back.

In the city’s first legal filings submitted this week — responding to allegations of trademark infringement and breach of contract, among others — Pasadena accused the Tournament of secretly coordinating to move the 2021 Rose Bowl Game to Texas, then turning to the courts to gain the legal leverage to move the game again without consulting the city.

The city argues that the dispute isn’t about trademark violations at all; both parties know exactly who owns what.

At its core, the Tournament’s suit is about a contract dispute, the city says — one that was solved on Dec. 29 when the city and Tournament signed a $2 million deal to officially move the Rose Bowl Game and avoid litigation.

The Tournament’s suit is an “invitation to redraft the parties’ contracts for future, hypothetical events that might never happen,” the filings say, calling on the courts to dismiss the case entirely.

In the Tournament’s lawsuit, it said the city falsely claimed ownership of the Rose Bowl Game trademark and sought to confuse the marketplace — including Tournament partners, such as the College Football Playoff Committee and ESPN — as to who owns the rights to the Rose Bowl Game.

That impacted the Tournament’s ability to do business, its lawyers alleged, threatening the future of the Rose Bowl Game itself, not to mentions millions of dollars in revenue.

The Tournament told the courts it needed to move the game because of worsening coronavirus conditions in Pasadena.

The city countered, saying the pandemic was just a pretext for a move away from Pasadena.

The city alleges, during a meeting with Tournament lawyers on Dec. 21, the Tournament said it had been talking with the Committee “for the last couple of months” about moving the game out of Pasadena.

The Tournament, “however, kept that information from the city until the final decision was made on Dec. 19 — just 13 days before the game was to be played and after game-day planning had been underway for months,” the filings say.

The city argued that the real reason for the move was to “sell thousands of tickets” — 18,353 to be precise — after city and state officials rejected their requests to have about 1,800 fans in the Rose Bowl Stadium — just players’ families and friends.

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