Pac-12 Moving Conference Tourney to Las Vegas in 2013

Mick AkersAnalyst IMarch 13, 2012

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The Pac-12 conference will be taking its conference tournament to the Las Vegas Strip, as they have signed a four-year deal with the MGM Grand Garden beginning in 2013 and running through 2015, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Pac-12 tournament has been played in Los Angeles at the Staples Center since 2002 and should see a spike in attendance, with Vegas being one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Las Vegas is quickly becoming basketball central during conference tournament time, as the Mountain West, West Coast Conference, the Western Athletic Conference and, now, the Pac-12 all calling Sin City home to their year-end tournaments.

The Pac-12 is the first of the "power conferences" to give Vegas a shot at hosting its conference tournament, and the success of the three other tournaments held here most likely played into the Pac-12's decision.

The Mountain West Conference moved its conference tournament to the Pepsi Center in Denver, CO from 2004-2006, as other teams in the conference felt it was unfair to host the event at the Thomas & Mack Center, home to fellow conference member UNLV.

Eventually, the MWC tournament went back to the Thomas & Mack in 2007 after less-than-stellar attendance in Denver, and has remained ever since.

The tournament will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, which seats 13,500 fans, and will broadcast on ESPN and the Pac-12 Networks, giving Las Vegas some great publicity on national TV once again.