US college sport conference the Pac-12 has reached an agreement with California’s Levi’s Stadium to continue staging its Football Championship Game at the ground for a further two years.
The 68,500-capacity stadium (pictured), which serves as the home of NFL team the San Francisco 49ers, will host the showpiece fixture in 2018 and 2019. The agreement includes the option for a further year.
The game moved to Levi’s Stadium in 2014, marking the first time the fixture had been played on a neutral site, following three years of Pac-12 venues staging the event.
“The Pac-12 Conference has helped make Levi’s Stadium a showcase for great college football and we look forward to continuing that relationship through this game, the Foster Farms Bowl, and the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship,” 49ers president Al Guido said. “Fan support for college football at Levi’s Stadium has been outstanding and the reaction to our recently launched Bay Area College Football Fan Program shows that interest is on the rise.”
The future of the game beyond 2019 remains up in the air. By 2020, new NFL stadiums in Inglewood and Las Vegas are likely to be open and operators of both venues have expressed an interest in hosting the Pac-12 fixture.
The Inglewood stadium will be shared by the Rams and Chargers, while the Raiders will play at the Vegas venue.
“It’s exciting to be in a part of the country where there’s going to be these big investments in new, state-of-the-art NFL venues,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said, according to the LA Daily news website. “But that’s down the road. We’re in the right place for us now.”
Scott added that there was not an “active conversation” ongoing between the conference and representatives of the NFL teams over the future of the game.
This year’s Football Championship Game will take place at Levi’s Stadium on December 1. The game will feature the north and south Pac-12 champions.
Image: Jim Bahn