Relocation Of Pac-12 Headquarters, Other Changes, A Priority For New Commissioner

Jan 22, 2021, 2:58 PM
Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott talks to the media before an NCAA football game between Utah Utes a...
Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott talks to the media before an NCAA football game between Utah Utes and the Oregon Ducks on November 8, 2014 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott will resign on June 30th and a changing of power will occur for collegiate sports on the West Coast.

With the changing of power, must come changes to the conference. Key changes that can help bolster the conference into a greater product.

KSL Sports personality Tom Hackett and University of Utah insider Steve Bartle discussed what must change immediately on the latest episode of the It’s Utah’s World podcast.

Both agreed that the first alteration must occur in relation to the Pac-12 headquarters. Currently, the Pac-12 is based in downtown San Francisco. Scott has lived the past six years in a presidential suite that includes a personal chef with rent costing the conference a reported $7,500 a night.

“For a conference that hasn’t done much, to be quite frank, what are we doing in San Francisco?” Hackett said.

A report by John Canzano from the Oregonian in 2019 suggested the Pac-12 headquarters reportedly cost an estimated $7 million a year. Which, in comparison, far outweighs its competition. The SEC calls Birmingham, Alabama home and costs $318,00 a year while the Big 10 is located in Chicago with a satellite office in New York which costs roughly $1.5 million a year.

The current financial crisis that the Pac-12 conference finds itself can be helped with a move of headquarters.

The obvious choice is Las Vegas, Nevada. Vegas offers a location that is easily accessible, reasonably priced cost of living and provides a unique cultural landscape for the conference to operate in.

“I think Vegas is, and probably should be, the destination for the Pac-12 headquarters,” Bartle said on the podcast. “I cannot imagine that it would be incredible expensive at all to rent a building in Vegas,” he added.

Hotel rooms will never be an issue for visitors and conducting large conferences is in Vegas’ repertoire. Vegas currently hosts the men’s and women’s basketball championship tournaments and is scheduled to host the football championship game in the near future.

Vegas makes a lot of sense for the Pac-12 to call home.

Furthermore, negotiating a television deal with Direct TV is paramount for the new commissioner to complete shortly after his or her arrival. The Pac-12, which calls itself the “Conference of Champions” has a difficult time broadcasting games for its West Coast fans to watch. College football fans on the east coast rarely take in a Pac-12 game, partly because the television rights are not available for them on the East Coast.

That must change.

It is ludicrous that a conference of the Pac-12’s magnitude cannot broadcast its own games on certain platforms because a deal cannot be reached.

Former University of Utah Athletic Director Dr. Chris Hill is a potential candidate to take over the reigns on a short term basis. Dr. Hill retired from role of AD at Utah in 2018 after a 31 year stint on the hill.

The relationships that Dr. Hill created during his time at Utah gives him a more than realistic chance at being the next Pac-12 Commissioner.

Other candidates include Ohio State AD Gene Smith, Alabama AD Greg Byrne, Stanford AD Bernard Muir, former West Virginia AD Oliver Luck among others.

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Relocation Of Pac-12 Headquarters, Other Changes, A Priority For New Commissioner