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Press - Telegram (Long Beach California)
The Pacific-12 Conference might move its football title game to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara beginning next season.
The idea was discussed during league meetings this past week in Phoenix and the conference is in discussions with the San Francisco 49ers about switching the game to the state-of-the-art stadium that opens this fall. The Pac-12 currently lets the team with the best record host the game.
The move contradicts commissioner Larry Scott's comments four years ago that he preferred a school hosting the game because it emulated an NFL-style approach.
"They talked about how the new 49ers stadium would be an exciting venue," said an official who attended the league meetings. "It still needs to be approved by the presidents."
A neutral site might be risky for attendance because many teams within the Pac-12 are not known for traveling well to bowl games. The Bay Area is also not known as a college-sports haven.
Last year's Pac-12 title game between Stanford and Arizona State at Sun Devil Stadium drew 69,535. When the game was played at Stanford in 2012, it drew only 31,622, although that game was played on a Friday night and during a rain storm.
The one positive of a neutral site is eliminating the short time the current format allows the host school to get ready for the game and sell tickets. The league presidents meet in June and will probably decide then whether to approve the idea.