In a significant win for Scottsdale, the Pac-12 collegiate conference announced that it would form a baseball tournament to decide the conference winner, and it will host this new tournament in Scottsdale.
The first tournament will take place in May 2022, featuring the top 8 teams of the conference at Scottsdale Stadium, spring training home of the San Francisco Giants. Scottsdale Stadium has undergone several upgrades and renovations in recent years, positioning it well for such a high profile event. The tournament will run in partnership with Experience Scottsdale, Scottsdale’s tourism partner, and the Pac-12 has agreed to promote Scottsdale as a vacation destination as part of the deal.
With eight full baseball teams traveling to Scottsdale and presumably needing to stay at our local hotels, eat at our restaurants, etc. this represents a strong future economic stimulus directly into the city and its businesses. Scottsdale Stadium is directly in the heart of Old Town, meaning that the myriad small businesses in the area will see a strong direct benefit. Additionally, this announcement helps cement Scottsdale as one of the premier tourist destinations in the country.
Pac-12 baseball has been a college powerhouse for quite some time, with six teams having multiple national championships, with Pac-12 college USC having more championships than any other school. Last year, six Pac-12 teams made the NCAA Tournament, second-most in league history. Arizona State is also a Pac-12 school, and is 2nd in the conference and 4th place in all of college baseball with five championships.
This is a huge win for Scottsdale, and Mayor Dave Ortega deserves kudos for helping get this done, along with the rest of council for realizing the potential value of this deal. Additionally, Experience Scottsdale and its CEO Rachel Sacco deserve credit for helping push Scottsdale as a first-class destination and sealing the deal. Lastly, we want to recognize Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff for acknowledging what we have known for years: Scottsdale is a great place to both live and play.