The Pac-12 collegiate athletic conference is moving its American football championship game to Las Vegas in 2020 and 2021, commissioner Larry Scott announced.
The games will be held at the new stadium still under construction near the Las Vegas Strip for the National Football League’s Oakland Raiders, but is expected to be completed in July 2020. The Raiders are relocating next season to Las Vegas.
The Pac-12 title game has been played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, since 2014, but has struggled to gain high attendances in recent years.
According to a report, the Pac-12 looked to stage the 2020 title game at the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers’ new stadium now under construction in Inglewood, California. But negotiations broke down at the last minute.
The conference’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments are also held in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena, home of the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights. Next year the Raiders’ new stadium will also host college football’s Las Vegas Bowl, which pits a Pac-12 team against either a Big Ten or SEC opponent.
Scott added that Pac-12 broadcast partner Fox and conference athletic directors are in preliminary talks about 9am Pacific Time kick-offs for some games, which would be in the key 12pm Eastern Time slot.
“That would be new and somewhat out of the box but I’ve tried to put everything on the table,” Scott said. “I think there are some schools and markets that might respond positively.”