Las Vegas to showcase best of Pac-12 basketball with hosting of Women's Tournament & Extension of Men's Tournament
Dhon Santos/Pac-12 Conference
Women’s event to be held in Las Vegas in 2019 and 2020
Men’s event extended through 2020
LAS VEGAS – The Pac-12 Conference announced today that after a highly successful six-year run in Seattle, its 2019 and 2020 Women’s Basketball Tournaments will be played in Las Vegas. Additionally, with the growth and popularity of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas since 2013, the conference announced an extension of the arrangement for the city to serve as home for the men’s event through 2020.
The women’s event will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in 2019 and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in 2020, in each case the week prior to the men’s tournament. The men will continue to play at T-Mobile Arena, the 20,000-seat venue located on the Las Vegas Strip between New York-New York and Monte Carlo. The two season-ending flagship events bring together the very best of Pac-12 basketball to crown the conference tournament champions, with berths into the NCAA tournament on the line.
“We are very excited to make Las Vegas the home of the very best of Pac-12 men’s and women’s basketball,” said Larry Scott, Commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference. “The quality of our women’s basketball programs has driven increasing fan interest over the past several years and we look forward to continuing to build upon this success in Las Vegas, and to creating a true festival of Pac-12 basketball across our men’s and women’s events in March.”
Rick Arpin, senior vice president of entertainment for MGM Resorts International, said, “The Pac-12 Conference has been a tremendous partner over the last six years as we’ve grown the success of the Men’s Basketball Tournament at both the MGM Grand Garden Arena and T-Mobile Arena. With the recent addition of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces to our Sports and Entertainment portfolio, it is only fitting that we welcome the Pac-12 women’s college basketball tournament.”
“We are especially pleased to announce the extension that will keep the Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament in Las Vegas through 2020,” said Pat Christenson, president of Las Vegas Events. "The tournament has proven to be a tremendous success and continues our commitment to supporting championship events. We also applaud the addition of the Pac-12 Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament coming to Las Vegas in 2019 and 2020, further ensuring that the Pac-12’s loyal fans will return each year to experience outstanding competition on the floor and everything our city has to offer.”
With the home of the Women’s Basketball Tournament for the past several years in Seattle’s KeyArena, currently slated for a major two-year renovation and upgrade, the Pac-12 began the search for a new host this past year. Several cities and venues expressed interest, with Las Vegas ultimately selected.
Since moving to Las Vegas, the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament has drawn sensational crowds. The annual tournaments have set multiple attendance records including total attendance in the first year at T-Mobile Arena with 86,910 fans and 18,927 for the championship game. The electric atmosphere in-arena, driven by strong fan support, has been complemented by fan entertainment both in and outside the venue, creating a fantastic experience for student-athletes and fans alike.
The Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament has been held in Seattle since 2013, where it too has set numerous attendance records including a total of more than 36,000 fans in 2017 for the entire tournament. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament had been held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles from 2002-2012.
About the Pac-12 Conference
The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 51 of the last 57 years, with 504 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, member institutions, and Commissioner Larry Scott, go to www.pac-12.com/conference.
About Las Vegas Events
Las Vegas Events is a private, not-for-profit organization that serves as the exclusive major special events agency for the city. Founded in 1983, LVE is funded by hotel room tax. Through its Signature Event initiative, LVE has created a model to integrate all elements of special events and formally improve communication between event producers and Las Vegas’ hotel properties and sponsors. Since 1991, Las Vegas Events has produced, presented or supported more than 800 events.
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