The Big Ten has discussed hosting its championship football game in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Raiders.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Steve Hill said the talks are in “early stages,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Big Ten’s championship football game has been played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis since 2011, and the conference’s hosting contract with the Indianapolis Colts expires after the 2024 championship.
“The Big 10 has asked us to submit proposals,” Hill told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I’m sure they have asked a number of cities. We are certainly interested, will put our best foot forward, and know there is no better place for their football championship.”
The Big Ten has traditionally been midwest-focused, with Michigan and Ohio State as its top football schools. Still, its members also stretch as far east as New Jersey (Rutgers), Pennsylvania (Penn State), and Maryland. Moving the championship game west to Las Vegas would come as the conference adds a west coast presence, with USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington all leaving the Pac 12 to join the Big Ten starting in 2024.
Allegiant Stadium has hosted the Pac-12’s football championship for the past two years and is scheduled to do so again this year. But the future of the conference is uncertain, with just four teams currently slated to be in the Pac-12 starting in 2024.
The Big Ten’s reported interest in heading to Las Vegas for its championship game follows recent college gambling scandals involving Iowa, Iowa State, and Alabama Baseball. Sports betting is now legal in 34 states as much of the U.S. joins Nevada in legal gambling.