Pac-12 extends agreement with Las Vegas through 2023

FILE - Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham celebrates with his team after their victory over...
FILE - Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham celebrates with his team after their victory over Oregon to win the Pac-12 Conference championship NCAA football game Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)(Chase Stevens | AP)
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 1:19 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Pac-12 Conference extended its agreement to at least 2023 to play its championship game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The game Friday between No. 4 Southern California and No. 12 Utah will be the second in Las Vegas. Commissioner George Kliavkoff said Thursday the game has sold out.

“Being in the entertainment capital of the world and a state-of-the-art NFL stadium is great for the Pac-12,” Kliavkoff said.

Kliavkoff added he didn’t expect a new media rights announcement any time soon.

“At this time, we’re the only Power Five (conference) in the open market with our media rights for the next eight years,” he said. “As a result, we have significant interest from potential partners, both incumbents and new entrants. We’ll move expeditiously to negotiate those new agreements, but there’s no rush.

“We’re committed to taking the time to consider the best possible partnership outcomes in service of our member schools.”

Kliavkoff said viewership of Pac-12 games on ABC, ESPN and FOX was up at least 18% over last year.

The Pac-12 title game was scheduled for Las Vegas in 2020, but that game was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-year contract was then moved back to play the game at Allegiant Stadium in 2021 and 2022.

Last year’s game between No. 14 Utah and No. 10 Oregon drew a crowd of 56,511 for the 38-10 win by the Utes. That crowd was the second largest at a neutral-site Pac-12 Championship. In 2015, 58,476 fans watched USC-Stanford in Santa Clara, California.