Viva Las Vegas: Football Economics Led to the End of the Pac-12, but not College Football in the Silver State

December 13, 2023
Patrick Rishe


Las Vegas emerges as a burgeoning hub for college football, highlighted by successfully hosting the final Pac-12 championship at the $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium and growing interest in the city as a potential site for future major events, including College Football Playoff games and conference championships. Still, the Pac-12’s loss of USC, UCLA, Washington, and Oregon to the Big Ten leaves some uncertainty in the short term.

How does the evolving landscape of college football impact traditional conferences and their future prospects?

Patrick Rishe, the Director of the Sports Business Program at Washington University in St. Louis, provides insightful commentary on the shifting dynamics in college football, mainly focusing on the media revenue-driven decisions influencing major conference realignments. He states, “It’s all about those media dollars, massive, massive media dollars, those schools, the markets, the prestige of those programs, it was too much to pass up the media dollars that the Big Ten was offering.”

One thing is sure: Sports interest in the Las Vegas market is expanding, and it will assuredly play a future role in college football, no matter the conference.

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