Arizona Football

Big 12 commissioner Yormark open to possibility of championship events in Las Vegas

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark addresses questions from the press during Big 12 Media Days at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegaes (Javier Morales/

LAS VEGAS — Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark mentioned Tuesday in a press conference during the opening day of the Big 12 Media Days that expanding the brand of the league to Las Vegas is “critically important to us.”

That includes the potential of moving championship events, namely men’s and women’s basketball and football, to Las Vegas.

“This is indicative of our appetite to move a little West with some of our tentpole events,” Yormark mentioned about the Big 12 Media Days being held at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. “Being in Vegas is critically important to us. Even before last year’s realignment, I said that we had to be in Vegas and a little bit more West. This is the entertainment and sports capital of the world right now.

“So being here is critically important for our brand and our business. We’ll continue to explore opportunities to take some of our tentpole events or championship events more to the West Coast if the opportunity presents itself, and if it makes sense.”

The Pac-12 held its women’s and men’s basketball tournaments and football championship in Las Vegas.

Arizona, because of its proximity to Las Vegas, in particular was largely supported during the men’s basketball tournaments at T-Mobile Arena.

The Big 12 presently holds its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City and the football championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

In March, while the Big 12 basketball tournaments were being held, Yormark announced the conference extended its agreement to keep both the tournaments in Kansas City through the 2030-31 season.

Yormark announced last year that the Big 12 football championship will be held at AT&T stadium at least through the 2030 season.

He began the Big 12 Media Days on Tuesday reading off a prepared statement that included a remark about the desire of the conference to continue the championship events in Kansas City and Arlington in the foreseeable future.

“In addition to moving this year’s media day to Las Vegas, we’ve doubled down on Kansas City as the site of our basketball championships for years to come, as well as adding women’s soccer,” he said. “We continue to plant our flag in Dallas by extending our football championship at AT&T Stadium, and Globe Life Stadium (in Arlington) for baseball.”

Yormark talked proudly about the Big 12 adding Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado, “the four corners,” as he calls them, to the conference.

“We are truly a national conference in 10 states, four time zones. All eyes are now on the Big 12 for all the right reasons,” he said. “We added the four corners and solidified ourselves as one of the top three conferences in America.”

I was able to ask Yormark in a small media gathering after the press conference about Arizona and Kansas — two of the biggest brands of men’s college hoops — playing only one game this upcoming season at Lawrence, Kan.

Many fans, especially those in Tucson, may question why the Big 12 is not taking advantage of showcasing two of its powerhouse college basketball programs twice a year with a home-and-home arrangement instead of only once.

“We haven’t thought through that,” he said. “You know there’s a lot that goes into that scheduling matrix when you think about travel, student-athlete travel, etc., etc. We’ve got to be pretty thoughtful about it, but you’re right, two of the biggest brands in college basketball. We’ll see what happens after the first year.”

Yormark made a comment about one certainty involving Las Vegas — the Big 12 is working with the Las Vegas Bowl to have a representative in the game.

“I’m confident at the right time we will have a formal affiliation with the Las Vegas Bowl,” he said. “This market is critically important. (Big 12 vice president and commissioner of football) Scott Draper is working on that. I’m very comfortable and confident in what that outcome will will bring for our conference.

“We need to be here in Vegas for all the right reasons. I said it earlier, entertainment and sports capital of the world, so critically important market for us in the future.

Check back for more reports from about the Big 12 Media Days from Las Vegas.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top