Allegiant Stadium is still a year away from opening, but on Tuesday the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors authorized $3 million in upfront funding to stage the Pac-12 Conference Football Championship Game in 2020 and 2021.
It’s the first funded special event for the 65,000-seat, $1.9 billion indoor stadium, although other events, including the Las Vegas Bowl, are expected to use the venue once it opens in August 2020.
The Pac-12, a top-tier league of 12 universities in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Utah and Colorado, opted in 2014 to stage its championship game on a neutral field and has scheduled it at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Attendance has declined over the years, however, and the league expects staging the event in the new stadium in Las Vegas would boost attendance.
In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the LVCVA board authorized spending $1.5 million per year in an agreement with Allegiant Stadium, the Pac-12 and MGM Resorts International. The agreement commits the LVCVA to spend $1 million for the sponsorship, a team hotel guarantee of $300,000, a team food and beverage commitment of $100,000 and other game-related marketing.
The LVCVA is expected to recoup up to $400,000 from the other partners.
LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill said he doesn’t expect to spend the entire $1.5 million per year because he anticipates a second hotel partner will opt in to the sponsorship.
“We are excited about this opportunity,” Hill told the board. “The destination has a great relationship with the Pac-12 and we are excited that we can expand to one of their marquee events.”
The game is expected to be played the first weekend in December prompting board member Lawrence Weekly, a Clark County commissioner, to inquire about the game being on the same weekend as the startup of the National Finals Rodeo.
Hill said he doesn’t expect there would be conflict with the rodeo and the football game in the city at the same time.
“There are 200,000 people over 10 days for the rodeo, or 20,000 people a day,” Hill said. “It does not tax the 150,000 hotel room capacity that Las Vegas has and while the NFR is a great event, it is still one of our more challenging weekends, so this is an opportunity to really change the face of that weekend.”
Hill said overlapping events are likely to become more common as promoters attempt to fill venues with new events.
He noted that broadening entertainment options would generate additional visits to Southern Nevada, adding that 140,000 seats exist in six different large venues within a one-mile radius of the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, all of them hoping to stage events that will appeal to a broad audience.
Last year, the 19-member Southern Nevada Sporting Event Committee discussed how the LVCVA should coordinate major citywide events while Las Vegas Events, the LVCVA’s privately held events promotion affiliate already has a series of scheduled events contracted, including the rodeo.
In other business, the board:
-Voted to spend $130,000 for LVCVA to exhibit at the World Travel Market in London Nov. 4-6.
-Agreed to spend $165,000 a year from 2020 through 2022 for a life insurance policy contract with Mutual of Omaha.
-Welcomed new board members Boulder City Mayor Kiernan McManus and Boyd Gaming executive Steve Thompson. North Las Vegas Mayor Pro-Tem Pamela Goynes-Brown was reappointed to the board and Wynn Las Vegas President Marilyn Spiegel was appointed vice chair of the board.
Pac 12 Football Championship games
Participants, site, city, attendance
2011: Oregon 49, UCLA 31; Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon; 59,376
2012: Stanford 27, UCLA 24; Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California; 31,622
2013: Stanford 38, Arizona State 14; Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona; 69,535
2014: Oregon 51, Arizona 13; Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California; 45,618
2015: Stanford 41, USC 22; Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara; 58,476
2016: Washington 41, Colorado 10; Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara; 47,118
2017: USC 31, Stanford 28; Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara; 48,031
2018: Washington 10, Utah 3; Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara; 35,134
2019: At Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara (Dec. 6)
2020: At Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas
2021: At Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas