Matchups Announced for Inaugural Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge Presented by MGM Resorts International
SAN FRANCISCO (August 23, 2021) - Matchups and television details have been set for the inaugural Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast Challenge presented by MGM Resorts International, the Conference announced today.
In its first year, the Challenge will feature a nationally-televised men’s and women’s doubleheader at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, Dec. 19. The marquee event will get underway with a men’s tilt between STANFORD and Texas at 12:00 p.m. PT on ABC. 2021 National Championship game participant ARIZONA and Texas will meet in the women’s game at 2:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2.
The annual Challenge, a non-conference scheduling series developed in partnership with the Oak View Group (OVG), Basketball Promotions & Events (BPE) and T-Mobile Arena, was originally announced in 2019 and slated to begin last December, but delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The impetus behind creating the Challenge was to provide high level competitive opportunities for our Pac-12 programs against quality opponents in strategic national markets and we’re excited to be able to begin with these two exciting matchups,” said Jamie Zaninovich, Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer. “It has been a pleasure to work with our new partners, OVG and BPE, to showcase Pac-12 basketball and bring this national event to life. We also appreciate the opportunity to strengthen our existing relationships with MGM Resorts, T-Mobile Arena and Las Vegas as part of this first-of-its-kind event.”
“We are thankful to have been able to collaborate with the Pac-12, BPE and MGM Resorts on such a unique event, even after having to essentially restart the event after the challenges of the past year” said Dan Shell, President of OVG Collegiate. “We’re thrilled to have Stanford, Arizona and Texas participating this year in Las Vegas and look forward to the compelling games the Challenge will provide to basketball fans across the country in the future.”
Chris Baldizan, executive vice president of Entertainment for MGM Resorts International, said, “T-Mobile Arena, the industry leader in sports and entertainment events, has played host to some of the top NCAA men’s and women’s basketball programs. The 2021 Pac-12 Coast-to-Coast doubleheader gives us the opportunity to continue to showcase the venue to hoops fans nationwide while providing the schools’ fans a chance to experience everything Las Vegas, the Sports Capital of the World, has to offer.”
In subsequent seasons, the Challenge is slated to include a rotation of Pac-12 programs against power-conference opponents in T-Mobile Arena and other neutral-site venues in major markets around the nation.
The men’s programs at Stanford and Texas are committed to meet again when the event shifts to Dallas’ American Airlines Arena in 2022. Additional matchup(s) for Dallas and other sites will be announced at a later date.
ABOUT THE PAC-12 CONFERENCE
The Pac-12 Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 55 of the last 61 years, with 537 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. For more information on the Conference’s programs and member institutions, please visit Pac-12.com/conference.
ABOUT OAK VIEW GROUP
Oak View Group was founded in 2015 by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff to be a positive disruption in sports and entertainment. The company currently has offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York City, and London. OVG’s business divisions include OVG Business Development, OVG Global Partnerships, OVG Collegiate, OVG Media and Conferences, OVG Facilities, Prevent Advisors, and the Arena and Stadium Alliance, which is a select group of top U.S. venues. OVG has recently been awarded the right to construct a world-class arena on the University of Texas Austin’s campus.
ABOUT BASKETBALL PROMOTIONS & EVENTS
Basketball Promotions & Events and its president Chris Spencer have been organizing and operating college basketball events since 1995. During this span BPE has coordinated more than 150 tournaments including the first multi-team event (MTE) in the City of Las Vegas in 2000.
ABOUT MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is an S&P 500® global entertainment company with national and international locations featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM Resorts creates immersive, iconic experiences through its suite of Las Vegas-inspired brands. The MGM Resorts portfolio encompasses 30 unique hotel and destination gaming offerings including some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry. Expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world, the company recently acquired the operations of Empire City Casino in New York and MGM Northfield Park. In 2018, MGM Resorts opened MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, MGM COTAI in Macau, and the first Bellagio-branded hotel in Shanghai. The 82,000 global employees of MGM Resorts are proud of their company for being recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies®. For more information visit us at www.mgmresorts.com.
ABOUT T-MOBILE ARENA
T-Mobile Arena, the 20,000-seat venue located on the Las Vegas Strip between Park MGM and New York-New York, opened April 6, 2016. The arena hosts more than 100 events annually including major headline entertainment, awards shows, UFC, boxing, basketball and other sporting events, family shows and special events. T-Mobile Arena also is the home of the Vegas Golden Knights, a National Hockey League expansion team and the city’s first professional sports team. The venue, named the No. 1 venue on Billboard Magazine’s 2018 Arena Power List as well as the “Best New Major Concert Venue” by Pollstar Magazine in 2016, features 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. Toshiba Plaza, an adjacent two-acre outdoor entertainment space, features performance stages, a variety of video screens and other interactive content and display areas. Industry-leading architect Populous designed T-Mobile Arena to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s standards for LEED® Gold Certification. T-Mobile Arena is a privately funded joint venture between AEG and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM). For more information, visit T-MobileArena.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- www.pac-12.com -