Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said yesterday that he'd like Arizona to be an economic leader on the way out of the coronavirus pandemic, and that "Arizona, at the right time, is very open-minded to hosting whatever Major League Baseball would like from the state."
Arizona seems geared to open up its economy and lead the charge in getting major American sports up and running. But, when it comes to ASU and U of A football, we may be waiting a little bit longer. That's because of something called the Western States Pact. California, Oregon and Washington have all officially joined, and their respective governors share a congruent vision for how to reopen their economies.
On California's government website, it lists "residents' health", "health outcomes and science – not politics", and working together effectively as the pact's priorities.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti told high-level staff that big gatherings, such as sports and concerts, might not be approved until 2021. Los Angeles is, of course, home to the Pac-12's most important brand, USC.
Meanwhile, California governor Gavin Newsom expressed doubt as to whether schools could open up next year, something that Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said recently is a must in order for his conference to hold sporting events.
When you consider that eight of the twelve Pac-12 schools are located in California, Washington and Oregon, it becomes clear that as aggressive as Arizona will be in reopening its economy and welcoming sports back, its two most prominent football powers are beholden to decisions made by the Western States Pact.
Could the Pac-12 hold a season with only four teams and an altered schedule? Potentially. But, that would be messy - and - how would the NCAA react to that? What about Bowl eligibility? What about revenue sharing? It's more likely that the conference would decide to take a one-year hiatus.
The Western States Pact is working. One of its core tenets is to create a unified front, so decisions like, to hold college football season or not, are decided upon with less pushback. Is that a good thing? I'll let ASU fans decide.