clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Australia Bowl: Organizer 'good to go' for 2016 game between Mountain West, Pac-12

The Mountain West and Pac-12 could be heading to Australia for a 2016 bowl game.

A bowl game being played in Australia is one step closer to becoming a reality, and as early as the 2016 season. ESPN's Brett McMurphy is reporting that an Australian official says the Melbourne Bowl is "good to go" for the 2016 season and feature a Mountain West and Pac-12 team.

During the Mountain West spring meetings in Phoenix, commissioner Craig Thompson said that there has been "considerable conversations" over the past five months about playing a bowl in Melbourne.

The Pac-12 is also in Phoenix this past week and have been officials from Australia. The idea of this bowl game seemed pretty far fetched even as recently as May 6.

There are plenty of logistical issues as what the pecking order will be between the two conferences, because this has to be a guarantee game for the conference with no alternates if the designated spot is not eligible.

"We have to get down to who's going to give up what," Thompson told CBSSports.com. "You can't on this one say, 'What if we don't have enough (bowl-eligible teams),' and then on Dec. 5 you can't send someone to Australia. You're talking about 1,000 passports, 1,200 passports."

Paul Sergeant, CEO of Melbourne Stadiums Limited, is aware of where this new bowl stands and would not require the teams to have a ticket allotment, and also the bowl would pay for all of the expenses. However, with the bowl paying for everything there will be no bowl payout for this game.

"The key element is there's no risk for the conference or the teams," Sergeant told ESPN.com. "We would expect visiting fans (from the United States) in the hundreds, not the thousands. "We're basing having a capacity crowd on the domestic market."

The Pac-12 will probably have to send at worst this their sixth spot and fifth team from the Mountain West, because anything lower would cause issues.

"That's part of the discussions," Sergeant said. "We know where we fit in the food chain. We're not expecting the No. 1 choice. We're going into this with our eyes wide open."

Another possible road block are the existing tie-ins both leagues have. The Mountain West has seven tie-ins and that does not include the possibility of a team getting into a New Year's Day game.