The Pacific-12 has been the only major conference to hold its championship football game in a non-neutral site. That will change next season when the conference’s North Division and South Division champions meet at Levi’s Stadium on Dec. 5.
A news conference announcing the new site will be held today at the 49ers’ new stadium.
The 69,000-seat stadium is the first NFL venue to be built in California since the 1960s. It will host its first game on Aug. 2, when the San Jose Earthquakes play the Seattle Sounders in a Major League Soccer match. That event will be used as a test run to make sure all of the stadium’s operations – from parking to concessions to the video boards – work properly.
The first NFL game will be played Aug. 17 when the Denver Broncos play the 49ers in a preseason exhibition. Levi’s Stadium will host its first regular-season game Sept. 14, when the Chicago Bears visit for a Week 2 prime-time game. The city of Santa Clara asked that the 49ers not host any weekday games in the stadium’s first year. A percentage of the parking spaces that will be used on game days belong to nearby businesses, which ostensibly will be occupied on weekdays. The 49ers will host the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving when, of course, those private parking spaces will be available.
The Pac-12 championship will not be the only college game at the new stadium. Cal will host Oregon on Oct. 24, a Friday night game. The Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences also have a six-year deal in place from 2014 to 2019 to play the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at Levi’s Stadium
The Pac-12 Conference championship game will be played on a Friday, although the time has not yet been announced. The 49ers have their bye the week of the Cal-Oregon game; they are on the road for two consecutive weeks following the Pac-12 championship. The Pac-12 joins the other major conferences to play their title game on a neutral site. The Southeastern Conference plays its championship game in Atlanta, the Atlantic Coast Conference in Charlotte, N.C., and the Big Ten in Indianapolis.
Read Matthew Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.