The Pac-12 Championship will be won by the team that records the best conference record during the regular season. Before we look ahead to the postseason, though, let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit where the action takes place in the middle of March.
California Memorial Stadium
The location of the 2018 Pac-12 Championship will be the California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California. The 107,000-seat stadium is the largest in the Pac-12 and is also one of the most historic. It opened in 1923 and is named after California’s war dead. The $180 million project included the construction of a museum that houses the world’s largest collection of war memorabilia. It also boasts the largest stadium sundecks in the country. The stadium’s design is based on the Italian Renaissance style. It also has a clock face that dates back to the 1800s. The venue has hosted the likes of Joe Montana, John Elway, and Jim Harbaugh. Perhaps the most iconic game played in California Stadium was the 1989 Fiesta Bowl, when Notre Dame defeated Michigan 23-16 in one of the classic upsets of all time.
Oregon Civic Plaza
Next on the list of spots for the 2018 Pac-12 Championship is the Oregon Civic Plaza in Oregon City. The 68,000-seat Oregon Arena is one of the most beautiful sporting venues in the country. It was originally constructed in 1911 and is named after the founder of the State of Oregon, John Augustus Wilson. The venue has hosted some incredible sporting events, including the 1957 Pan American Games. One of the most memorable games ever played there was in 1966, when Michigan and Ohio State battled to a 15-15 tie. The game was eventually decided by a coin toss, which gave the Wolverines the win. In 1997, the stadium was renamed for the late Oregon basketball legend Melvin Simon.
Arizona State Sun Stadium
The Arizona State Sun Stadium in Sun City will also host one of the two playoff games in 2018. The stadium opened in 1969 and has since become one of the most popular sports venues in the country. It is named after the university’s mascot, Sun Devil, and the colors it represents (orange and black). The venue has hosted the Super Bowl, World Series, NCAA Final Four, and the College Football Playoff.
Utah State University
Third on the list of regular season host venues for the 2018 Pac-12 Championship is the historic Utah State University Gymnasium in Logan. The 100,000-seat stadium opened in 1907 and has hosted many memorable sporting events, including the 1963 Walt Disney World Pro-Am and the 2002 Winter Olympics. The venue also hosted the first annual Rocky Mountain Regional, which served as a precursor to the present day NCAA Division I Football Championship.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Finally, we arrive at the grandaddy of them all, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The largest stadium in the United States can currently seat up to 81,000 fans for an event, making it perfect for playoff games. It opened in 1922 and has been the home stadium for the Los Angeles Rams since their relocations to Los Angeles in 1946. In 2003, the stadium was completely revamped with the aim of keeping the L.A. charm while also making it a functional, comfortable place to watch football games. The $125 million project involved the removal of all stands except the west side, which includes the iconic red brick wall. In 2011, the stadium was renamed after legendary Rams head coach/L.A. City Football Hall of Fame inductee John Robinson, who passed away in 2010. The last game played at the Memorial Coliseum was in 2016, when the Rams defeated the New England Patriots 31-20 to capture the franchise’s second Super Bowl title. The team returned to the Coliseum for the 2017 season opener against the Dallas Cowboys but had to leave the arena later that day after a mass shooting occurred on-site.
As you may have guessed, the 2018 Pac-12 Championship will be contested between four teams: Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, and Washington. Who will come out on top?