The Pac-12 meetings happened this week and one of the things we learned is that the conference is considering moving the title game to a neutral site.
That is not a good idea.
It’s an even worse idea that the game is going to likely be played in Santa Clara at the new 49ers stadium.
The first key to a neutral site game is to have local support, people locally filling up seats. People in the Bay Area barely go to the college games of the teams who are there. Are they going to go and see Oregon against Arizona St.?
Not to mention the game will start at something like 5:30 PM local time. Who is going to fight the traffic for this one?
Next, the Bay Area is expensive. How many fans are going to shoot their budget for the Pac-12 title game when the winner is likely headed to the College Football Playoff?
Further, I think I saw this mentioned elsewhere but they’re considering making this change because staging games on campus is difficult in short periods of time. But isn’t doing that better than playing in front of a ton of empty seats?
The campus sites have a great feel and excitement to them, and the stadiums have people in them.
If the Pac-12 is interested in neutral site games, the only real answer, at least until there is a suitable stadium in Vegas near the strip, is Phoenix. It’s an easy trip from LA and good flight connections from everywhere else. Lots of resorts in the area and it’s warm. In fact even if Las Vegas builds a stadium Phoenix is likely a better destination.
Plus Phoenix has enough transplants that there will be some universal interest in the game.
So Pac-12, if you must go down this road, please just make the game played at University of Phoenix Stadium. Don’t act like people are going to trudge around the Bay Area or sit in the rain in Seattle for this game. And don’t even start on L.A.
If you must do this Pac-12, Phoenix is the only serious solution.