Last summer when it was announced the Las Vegas Bowl would make some changes as it moved into its new home at Allegiant Stadium in 2020, the Mountain West found itself without a bowl for its top-ranked team. The Las Vegas Bowl has had the first selection of the Mountain West since 2006, and the conference has had a contract with the bowl since its inception in 1999. However, when the Las Vegas Bowl inked a deal with the Pac-12, SEC and Big Ten last year, the Mountain West’s top bowl slot was up for grabs.
This week, it was announced the Mountain West would continue to match its top team not participating in a College Football Playoff game against a Pac-12 team and head west to Los Angeles and the new SoFi Stadium for the new LA Bowl.
“The Mountain West is delighted to partner with the Pac-12 Conference and the outstanding management team assembled at SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park to launch this exciting new bowl game,” said Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson. “Los Angeles is a tremendous market firmly within our footprint that is home to a large number of our member institutions’ alumni and the area from which many of our student-athletes are recruited. This will be a top-flight postseason destination for the No. 1 selection from our Conference.”
SoFi Stadium, the new home of the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams, and Hollywood Park, a 298-acre sports and entertainment space, will host the new bowl beginning in 2020. The initial contract term goes through 2025.
“Similar to SoFi Stadium, the LA Bowl game is designed to deliver an authentic Southern California experience,” said Jason Gannon, managing director of SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. “In addition, our bowl game events throughout the week will embrace Los Angeles as the entertainment capital of the world.”
The LA Bowl will match up the Mountain West’s No. 1 selection with the Pac-12’s No. 5 selection, meaning location will be the only major change in this matchup.
“We are thrilled to partner with LA Bowl and bring a Pac-12 presence to the new state-of-the-art facility at SoFi Stadium, in one of the biggest markets right in our footprint,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “The entertainment presence of the new facility will provide great experiences for our studentathletes and fans as the Pac-12 continues its postseason matchup with the Mountain West.”
One of the larger stadiums to host a bowl game, SoFi Stadium will seat approximately 70,000, expandable up to 100,000, with more than 260 luxury suites and more than 13,000 premium seats. The new stadium has already been selected to host Super Bowl LVI in 2022, the College Football National Championship Game in 2023, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in 2028.
The Mountain West will have six guaranteed bowls during the 2020-2025 cycle, including the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (vs. MAC), the Hawaii Bowl (vs. AAC or CUSA), the New Mexico Bowl (vs. CUSA), the Arizona Bowl (vs. MAC), and one of the 16 ESPN-owned bowls, likely to be in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex. The conference also retains its secondary position with the Cheez-It Bowl (vs. Big Ten or Big 12) and has plans to gain a secondary position in another bowl to be announced soon.
This post originally appeared on Forbes.com on February 29, 2020.
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