Pac-10 commish: Staples Center under review this year for tourney siteby Javier Morales on Mar. 10, 2011, under Sports
LOS ANGELES — Pac-10 (soon to be Pac-12) commissioner Larry Scott addressed the media at Staples Center this afternoon on a variety of topics related to the conference.
He talked about assessing Staples Center as the appropriate venue for the conference tournament. The conference’s arrangement with the arena ends after next season.
“This is a better year to evaluate (Staples) because USC is playing (after its self-imposed ban last year) and UCLA is playing at a higher level,” Scott said.
If that is the case, it is doubtful the current arrangement will be prolonged because the attendance for the USC-Cal game at noon local time was poor. The arena seats 19,079. Attendance was less than half of that.
The conference may look into rotating sites beyond next year.
Nothing else earth-shattering was said Scott, but it is obvious that conference officials are working hard to make a league TV network come to fruition. Expect Thursday night football games to continue for the Pac-12 on either ESPN or the league’s network.
“In terms of national exposure they are important for us, especially when you consider the (West coast) time-zone factor,” Scott said of the Thursday games, which allow for better TV possibilities although games start at 9 p.m. on the East coast.
“A lot of games are played on Saturdays. The Thursday night games allow for more campus exposure.”
Scott claims a significant reason for creating the Pac-12 television network is “bringing more exposure to the Olympic sports”, such as swimming, volleyball and track and field.
“Having a conference network is a good way to brand ourselves that way,” Scott said.
The focus, Scott said, is enhancing financial opportunities for the conference and member institutions. “We’re fifth among the conferences in TV revenue and that is not satisfactory,” he said. He added that only 10 to 14 institutions nationally are in the black financially, so it’s a nationwide economic problem.
Scott also said the league will evaluate the basketball referees after the season similar to how it reviewed the football officials. The conference fired 11 referees after last season and is in the process of hiring 16 from the Big 12, Mountain West and WAC.