The line “plenty of good seats still available” didn’t originate with the Pac-10 tournament in Los Angeles. It just seems that way.
An empty Staples Center was a familiar sight the last few years, particularly during the first few rounds. So much so that conference commissioner Larry Scott is thinking about moving the whole thing to Las Vegas.
This lengthy feature from Bloomberg Businessweek spends ample time on the Pac-12’s recent expansion, TV deals, football’s influence and Scott’s hopes for international expansion, but also contained this nugget about possibly moving to the MGM Grand:
Scott has been relentlessly upbeat about this game and has said he feels vindicated by his decision to have the team with the better record host it, as opposed to playing it at a neutral site. “An empty stadium looks awful on TV,” he says. He has faced that problem with the conference’s postseason basketball tournament, which has been played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles to less than packed houses; the conference is strongly considering moving the tournament to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “People will travel to Las Vegas,” Scott says.
The Mountain West, WAC and WCC also play their conference tournaments in Sin City, so this wouldn’t be breaking any new ground. But it would almost certainly give the event a much-needed boost.
The conference also could use a rotating site, though that runs the risk of being too localized in years when the host team doesn’t do well.
Head to Vegas. There’s plenty of room for everyone.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.