One thing we’ve learned from Larry Scott is he doesn’t fear change.
Since taking over as Pac-12 Conference commissioner Scott has not only helped launch an exclusive television network for the conference but also elevated the national level of the Pac-12 in ways not seen before his tenure. Forward-thinking and innovative, Scott may have another change in the works, possibly as early as this winter.
The league is in talks of moving their football championship game to the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The first three championship games were held on home fields, including last December at Sun Devil Stadium where Stanford routed ASU in front of close to 70,000 fans.
“The appeal would be very unique to the situation where you would have a brand new stadium,” Scott told a small group of assembled media at The Biltmore Resort Wednesday afternoon. “To be able to launch with the newest, most state-of-the-art NFL venue in the country is very on brand to [the Pac-12].”
Scott has been talking with coaches, athletic directors and Pac-12 staff for the past two days at the league’s annual meetings here in the Valley. The conference presidents and chancellors would have to ultimately approve the move this summer to proceed with holding the game in the Bay Area.
Some high-ranking school officials and coaches feel conflicted with the proposed venue change.
Mike Leach says Pac-12 coach reaction is “mixed” on potential Santa Clara title game. David Shaw said there’s real optimism in the room
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) May 7, 2014
“I think the past three years…in the home model have been successful,” USC athletic director Pat Haden told Sports360AZ.com. “It rewards the team with the best record. It rewards the home fans. If we do move [the game] to San Francisco, we’ll live with that, as well.”
Other cities have been mentioned as possible long-term hosts but Santa Clara remains the front-runner, partly because is centrally located to accommodate Pac-12 schools in the northern and southern parts of the western United States.