LAS VEGAS – The Pac-12 has reached an agreement with T-Mobile Arena and Las Vegas Events to keep the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas for the next three years, the Conference announced today. The tournament will be played in T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas’ newest sports and entertainment venue being developed by joint venture partners AEG and MGM Resorts International and set to open April 6, 2016.
The Pac-12 originally brought the tournament to Las Vegas in 2012 after more than a decade in Los Angeles. Last year, the Pac-12 extended its agreement to host the 2016 tournament in Las Vegas, and now the Pac-12 has committed for the next three years.
The season-ending conference championship tournaments in Las Vegas have drawn great attendance over the four years at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, culminating with a sellout of all sessions this year, and provided an exciting experience for Pac-12 student-athletes and fans.
“In only four years, we have created one of the very best post-season tournaments in all of college basketball here in Las Vegas,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Our fans have responded, the atmosphere has been electric, and our student-athletes have really enjoyed playing in front of great crowds. We are now thrilled to build on our success in the state-of-the-art T-Mobile Arena and deliver a world-class experience to more Pac-12 fans.”
This year’s tournament continues tonight at 6 p.m. PT at the MGM Grand Garden Arena as the top four seeds - Oregon, Arizona, Utah, and California compete in the semi-final round. The 2016 championship game will take place tomorrow night at 7 p.m. PT with the conference title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
Dan Quinn, general manager of T-Mobile Arena, said, “T-Mobile Arena is thrilled to be the new home of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas. Over the last four years the Las Vegas community and college basketball fans nationwide have watched the tournament grow in popularity and we look forward to continuing its success as we showcase the city's newest sports and entertainment venue.”
T-Mobile Arena will seat nearly 18,500 Pac-12 fans for the tournament and offer an unparalleled fan experience. The venue is scheduled to host more than 100 events annually including UFC, boxing, college basketball and other sporting events; major headline entertainment, awards shows and special events. The newest landmark, located on the Las Vegas Strip, will have a significant impact on the city’s entertainment landscape while providing Las Vegas visitors and the local community a guest experience second to none.
Dan Beckerman, president & CEO, AEG, said, “T-Mobile Arena, which is being created to present the most important sporting events, concerts, awards shows and special events will be the perfect setting to host the always exciting and newsworthy Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament. When we first began to discuss events we wanted to bring to the arena with our joint venture partners MGM Resorts, the Pac-12 Tournament was at the top of our list. Together with the Pac-12 and Las Vegas Events, we believe we can further raise the profile of the event to even greater heights in 2017 when we begin to call T-Mobile Arena the home of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.”
In addition to the agreement with T-Mobile Arena, the Pac-12 re-upped its partnership with Las Vegas Events (LVE) for three years. LVE has been a champion of bringing the best college basketball tournaments to Las Vegas and has been a valuable partner for the Pac-12 since its move to Las Vegas four years ago.
Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events, said, “Las Vegas is committed to hosting high-profile championship events each year, and the extension with the Pac-12 Conference through 2019 is representative of that vision. The Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament brings great energy and enthusiastic fans to our destination. Through this partnership, Las Vegas will continue to work with the Pac-12 to create a unique atmosphere for fans, while providing an outstanding venue for student-athletes to pursue excellence on the court.”
About the Pac-12 Conference
The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 49 of the last 55 years, with 480 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities: The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University.
About T-Mobile Arena
T-Mobile Arena is a privately funded indoor arena set to open in April 2016. The 20,000 seat venue, located on the Las Vegas Strip between New York-New York and Monte Carlo, is expected to host more than 100 events annually, including UFC, boxing, hockey, basketball and other sporting events, major headline entertainment, awards shows, family shows and special events. Las Vegas’ newest landmark will feature 50 luxury suites, more than two dozen private loge boxes, complete broadcast facilities, and other specially designed exclusive hospitality offerings and fan amenities destined to create a guest experience second to none. The Arena has partnered with international iconic brands including Coca-Cola, Schneider Electric, Toshiba American Business Solutions Inc. and Cox Business, as the venue’s first “Founding Partners.” These Founding Partners will introduce and brand signature fan initiatives, displays and interactive spaces including Toshiba Plaza, an adjacent two-acre entertainment space which will feature a performance stage, a variety of video screens and other interactive content and display areas. Industry-leading architect Populous designed the venue to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s standards for LEED® Gold Certification. T-Mobile Arena is a joint venture between AEG and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). For more information visit the T-Mobile Arena website at http://www.t-mobilearena.com.
About Las Vegas Events
Las Vegas Events is a private, not-for-profit organization that serves as the exclusive major special events agency for the city. Founded in 1983, LVE is funded by hotel room tax. Through its Signature Event initiative, LVE has created a model to integrate all elements of special events and formally improve communication between event producers and Las Vegas’ hotel properties and sponsors. Since 1991, Las Vegas Events has produced, presented or supported more than 700 events.