Key Las Vegas figure eyeing future Pac-12 vs. SEC, Big Ten football matchups at Allegiant Stadium


As the football profile of Las Vegas continues to rise with the city landing an NFL franchise and the Pac-12 Championship Game, a prominent local leader is trying to lure some marquee regular season college football as well. Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steve Hill told The Mercury News that he would like to pit Pac-12 teams against schools from the SEC and Big Ten in future seasons for early-season showcase games at the new Allegiant Stadium.

“Anything that works elsewhere works even better in Las Vegas,” Hill told the Mercury News.

There is always debate over whether programs benefit more from playing high-profile neutral site contests as opposed to playing at campus venues, where gate receipts and concession revenue can bolster athletic department coffers. The idea of the Pac-12 and SEC squaring off in neutral-site games is not unprecedented, however. 

Games between the conferences have been staged in Arlington, Texas, and Atlanta in recent seasons. Texas A&M and Colorado are set to square off in Denver this season, and another Pac-12 school will play in Las Vegas when Arizona takes on BYU at Allegiant Stadium on Sept. 4. Next season, Oregon is scheduled to play Georgia in Atlanta for what would technically be considered a neutral-site game.

While on the surface it may seem like a tough sell to get SEC schools on board with traveling west, the availability of inexpensive flights for fans and the allure of a renowned locale would likely ensure a baseline level of fan interest, at least the first time around. For the football programs, playing in Las Vegas could be viewed as an opportunity to put their brand in front of a top prospects outside their normal recruiting zones.

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