Published reports Tuesday say the Pac-12 is in discussions that would move the conference’s championship football game from campus sites to the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., while a Seattle official reiterated the city’s interest in putting the game at CenturyLink Field.
ESPN.com and SI.com wrote if the conference decides to make the move, it would happen for the 2014 season. SI.com called Levi’s Stadium, home of the NFL San Francisco 49ers, “the clear front-runner.”
Pac-12 coaches and athletic directors are having two days of meetings that end Wednesday in Phoenix. No final action could be taken until school presidents approve it, and they don’t meet until June. But a recommendation by athletic directors likely would be rubber-stamped by the presidents.
Ralph Morton, executive director of the Seattle Sports Commission, said the group has “made a lot of overtures to the Pac-12” but hasn’t made a formal bid while the campus format is in place.
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“They (the Pac-12) could approach it however they want,” said Morton, referring to a potential request for bids by the conference. “Whether they’re approaching this from a one-time or multi-time host, we’re interested. Even if they decide (Levi’s Stadium) is where they’re going to go in 2014, we certainly look forward to the opportunity for them to consider us for the next year.”
The first three Pac-12 championship games have been at the home of the stronger division winner, as commissioner Larry Scott hedged against the specter of empty seats in a sprawling, neutral-site stadium in the far-flung league.
But the late determination of campus-site hosts has presented a challenge, and Pac-12 officials might now feel more inclined to move the game.
Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or firstname.lastname@example.org