On January 1, 2014, a whopping 95,173 fans flocked to the historic Rose Bowl in Pasadena for a century-long tradition. The Big Ten and Pac Ten brought the season’s best teams for an East Meets West showdown. This bowl game was certain to provide four quarters of classic college football. At halftime, you could be certain that the entertainment would be great, and the lines for the stadium bathrooms would be hundreds to thousands long.
It has been said that waste water treatment plants must pass the Super Bowl flush test, where millions of fans take advantage simultaneously of a break in the action to use their toilet, all in the same ten-minute stretch. The Rose Bowl game provides a similar challenge, and whether you’re watching in the bowl or from a bar in Old Town, there is a high risk that the toilets will inevitably become clogged.
This emergency can be made worse by high sink use as hot temperatures and close quarters mean splashing water on sweaty faces, or the grime of spilled beer and careless fans require an impromptu bath. Is it too much for the Rose Bowl to handle? The stadium was built at a time when mostly men went as fans, and like most sporting venues, doesn’t really give women the amount of restroom infrastructure that they like. It is also difficult to get a plumber during a big game. Even if they were on call on a national holiday like January first, the ability for them to travel to the event and find parking nearby is next to impossible. Short of having a team of pipe repair experts on call for the duration of the game, it may seem like there is nothing to do but hike up your pants and protect your shoes from wet floors and unexpected flooding.
Though the stadium may not have been built for the gender ratio that is now found, all is not lost. Changes in the game over the past years have allowed for a more even spread of restroom use than there once was. The advent of television has been one saving grace, as it has created extra television time-outs, which savvy viewers use to sneak away when the restrooms are only partially occupied. The use of video replay on a debatable call is another chance that viewers may have to get away while the judges watch and deliberate. This is especially easy to do with the use of television monitors in all of the hallways. It becomes nearly impossible to miss a moment of the game, even when you’re waiting to relieve yourself.
Of course, there are those whose bathroom habits are a clog waiting to happen, and these less-than-considerate people are impossible to avoid. But with human health standards at an all-time high, you can be assured that these things are now dealt with as soon as they are identified. This means that even if you don’t have the best seat in the house for watching the game, the likelihood that your other seat will be clean and flushable is much higher.