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Opinion: Pac-12 Conference Headquarters Should Be Moved To Salt Lake City

A PAC-12 logo is seen during the PAC-12 Men's Basketball Media Day on October 17, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It has been stated many times over the last year that the Pac-12 Conference headquarters need to move from San Francisco so why not Salt Lake City?

The Pac-12 Conference will be moving on from commissioner Larry Scott at the end of June, which would be a great time to move the headquarters out of the bay area. It makes zero sense for the headquarters in San Francisco where the rent is very expensive. On top of that, the Pac-12 Network studios are in the same building.

KSL Sports wrote a story on September 17 explaining the benefits of moving the headquarters to Salt Lake City. It makes sense today with Larry Scott stepping down.

Even if the conference doesn’t move the headquarters to Salt Lake City, Portland, Oregon or Las Vegas, Nevada would be prime destinations for the relocation.

Pac-12 Would Have Cheaper Rent

San Francisco is one of the most expensive real estate footprints, period. According to John Canzano of the Oregonian, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott had two options to put the conference headquarters. Those two options included Oakland or San Francisco. Obviously, Scott chose San Francisco.

The conference signed an 11-year lease with Kilroy Realty Corporation to secure two floors and included 113,000 square feet of office space in downtown San Francisco. Last year, the Pac-12 paid $6.9 million in rent and another $11.7 million in deferred rent.

Canzano pointed out that the Big Ten headquarters in Chicago will cost the conference less than $1.5 million this year. The SEC headquarters is in Birmingham, Alabama and pay $1 million annually in rent.

In 2018, Salt Lake City released their commercial real estate benchmark. The office market at that time listed the average Direct Asking Rate per square foot at $23.19. Over 2.32 million square feet was available for lease in 2018. Let’s say that the Pac-12 is looking at a spot to move their headquarters to in Salt Lake City with the average Direct Asking Rate at $23.19. The conference would pay just over $2.6 million per year in rent in Salt Lake City for a 113,000 square foot space. That is saving the Pac-12 $4.3 million and that is in Salt Lake City. The conference could look at areas just outside of downtown.

I know those numbers are from 2018 but even if it increased over the last two years, rent won’t be nearly as much in Utah as it is in San Francisco.

The Conference’s revenue increased seven percent in total revenue during the 2018-19 fiscal year, making $530 million. Each school in the conference received an average distribution of $32.2 million.

Headquarters Doesn’t Need To Be In Expensive City

Back on August 26, I did some research on where each FBS conference currently resides.

  • AAC & Big 12: Irving, Texas
  • ACC: Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Big Ten: Rosemont, Illinois
  • Conference USA: Dallas, Texas
  • MAC: Cleveland, Ohio
  • Mountain West: Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • SEC: Birmingham, Alabama
  • Sun Belt: New Orleans, Louisiana

It’s also worth noting that the Big Sky headquarters are in Farmington, Utah.

As most of you know, Salt Lake City is a great place to live.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.