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Cal's Mike Montgomery Likes The Idea Of Pac-12 Conference Tournament Being In Las Vegas

The Pac-12 has had their basketball conference tournament at the Staples Center in Los Angeles since the tournament was revived in 2002, but now there is a push to find an alternate location to host the tournament. There has been talk of rotating it to different regions within the league. For example, the tournament could be in the Bay Area, Seattle, Arizona, Oregon or between Salt Lake City and Denver; this would allow for attendance to not dip by having at least one local school in the area.

Las Vegas is rising to the top of the wish list for the Pac-12 to host their conference tournament and last week there was news about a new basketball arena being built by International Development Management and Smart Cities International. The proposed stadium would be in Henderson, Nev., with construction to start mid-year and be done by 2014.

Having the tournament in Las Vegas would not allow a team to have an advantage similar to what the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins have right now with the tournament being in Los Angeles. Also, having the tournament in Las Vegas would help with the low attendance figures.

Cal head coach Mike Montgomery believes a neutral site would be best for the league:

"I think it's worked for the conferences (Mountain West and West Coast) that have gone there for their tournaments," said Montgomery, who previously coached at Stanford before a stint in the NBA. "It's an attraction for all of the fans around the league.

"We had the tournament in Arizona (Tucson) a while back (1988), and it seemed very much like the ‘Arizona Invitational.' It was so skewed that way, it didn't seem right for everybody else. I think if you go to a place like (Las Vegas), you're going to have people from all over the conference think, ‘You know what? Let's go there and also get show tickets and play golf, do some other things AND watch basketball.' They would plan on that trip year after year."

Montgomery was asked about the idea of rotating the tournament among different cities, but he felt that the tournament should be in one central location so that fans know where it will be each year and having the tournament in one singular location would allow the Pac-12 to create an identity.

For more on the Pac-12 go visit Pacific Takes.