LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Thousands of fans will descend on the Rose Bowl and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Saturday as UCLA and USC begin their football seasons, and officials at both stadiums are making adjustments to help attendees cope with the heat anticipated to bake both venues.
UCLA will kick off its season at 11:30 a.m., as the Bruins take on Bowling Green at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. USC's season-opener against Rice is set for 3 p.m. at the Coliseum. Temperatures are likely to be in or near the triple-digits in both venues due to a heat wave expected to linger through the Labor Day weekend.
As a result, fans at both stadiums will be met with relaxed restrictions on water bottles and extra hydration stations.
At the Rose Bowl, fans will be permitted to bring factory-sealed water bottles up to 32 ounces into the stadium. Non-glass, empty beverage containers up to 32 ounces will also be permitted, and they can be filled at "Water Monster" stations near Tunnels 23A, 28A and 11.
Officials noted that water fountains are also located outside concourse restrooms, and misting systems will be operating at all of them. Additional tents with misters, fans and shade will be placed near Tunnels 28A and 23A, and at Gates C and D.
Fans waiting to get into the stadium before the game will be able to visit air-conditioned "cooling buses" located outside Gates B and D beginning at 10 a.m. Once fans enter the stadium, they can access one of the buses by going to the Public Safety Building near Tunnel 28.
Samples of hydrating "liquid I.V." will be available at Gates A and N.
Stadium and UCLA officials also encouraged fans to bring sunscreen and apply it regularly.
At the Coliseum, the stadium is lifting its restrictions on water carried into the venue. Fans can bring an unlimited number of clear water bottles up to 20 ounces in size. Empty refillable water bottles are also permitted. Free water cups will also be offered at all concession stands.
According to USC, cooling fans will be operating at all entrance gates. A shade tent with seating will be available at First Aid Gate 1, with additional shaded areas at the Heritage Concourse on Level 1, and at Olympic Plaza.
Bags of ice will also be available at Gates 1, 11 and 23 and at Concourse 17.
Officials urged fans to drink plenty of water and limit consumption of alcohol, coffee and soft drinks. Fans were also advised to wear light-colored and lightweight clothing, take frequent shade breaks and notify an attendant immediately if they develop any symptoms of heat illness.
Fans may also notice that members of the Trojan Marching Band will not be in traditional uniforms. The university announced Friday that the band will not be in full dress for the event due to the extreme heat conditions.