Las Vegas Bowl Could Complicate Fan Attendance For New Fox Basketball Tournament

Fox’s new college basketball tournament will add to a crowded Las Vegas college sports scene. Find out how the Las Vegas Bow complicates matters.

The Big Ten and Big 12 already have tie-ins with the Las Vegas Bowl until 2025.
Source: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

A new postseason tournament enters the college basketball landscape next year. Fox Sports' long-rumored postseason tournament, christened "The College Basketball Crown," takes place in Las Vegas from March 31 to April 6 next year.

The new tournament will feature 16 schools, including two apiece from the Big Ten, Big 12, and Big East. Notably, FOX is a primary television partner for all three conferences. However, the Big Ten and Big 12's participation could be problematic.

In 2025, the Big Ten will participate in the Las Vegas Bowl. Furthermore, the 2024 and 2025 editions of the Las Vegas Bowl will feature a former PAC-12 member, four of whom reside in the Big 12. Both conferences' alignment with the PAC-12 complicates fan attendance for The College Basketball Crown.

Bowl Season demands much from fanbases, asking them to make travel arrangements, sometimes across the country, on two to three weeks' notice. Travel to Las Vegas is less demanding for PAC-12-to-Big 12 movers Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah but is exponentially more difficult for Big Ten fans. Asking Big Ten fans to make two cross-country trips to Las Vegas within a year is a tall task. The occasion of a perceived consolation tournament makes two Las Vegas trips less appealing.

The College Basketball Crown lacks the prestige of the NCAA Tournament and NIT's history. It is a microcosm of the current collegiate athletics: a manufactured tournament in an entertainment-centric city manufactured by greedy executives and owners to be a sports hub.

Between holding out for a possible Las Vegas Bowl appearance and traveling to the College Basketball Crown, Big Ten fans will likely hold out for the Las Vegas Bowl to see their team play in an NFL season instead of a consolation tournament lacking history. It will be difficult for the Midwestern and Eastern Seaboard members of the Big Ten to make both trips to Las Vegas, putting the Las Vegas Bowl in competition with the College Basketball Crown for some fanbases.

It is also likely that a former PAC-12 school will receive an invitation to the College Basketball Crown three months *after* appearing in the Las Vegas Bowl. Although travel to Las Vegas is more convenient and cheaper for the former PAC-12 members in the Big 12, it still requires considerable money and time.
Unlike Big Ten fans, fanbases from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah will benefit from hindsight when deciding to travel to the College Basketball Crown. Utah appeared in last year's Las Vegas Bowl and is unlikely to appear in this year's Las Vegas Bowl.

Nevertheless, Arizona, Arizona State, and Colorado have had two appearances at Allegiant Stadium combined since the stadium's opening in 2020. Therefore, appearing in the College Basketball Crown after appearing in the Las Vegas Bowl is a realistic possibility for both fanbases, leading to apathy for the College Basketball Crown.

The College Basketball Crown's main competitors are on the hardwood. The bowl landscape also provides another hurdle for the upstart tournament. One that could be difficult to clear.