The Las Vegas Bowl is an NCAA-sanctioned Division I-A post-season college football bowl game that has been played annually at 40,000-seat Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. since 1992. Since its inception the game has been played in December. The bowl is owned by ESPN Events. As the Las Vegas Bowl was initially the replacement for the California Bowl, it inherited that bowl's tie-ins with the champions of the Big West Conference and the Mid-American Conference. These remained intact until 1996, after which the Big West's champion earned a berth in the Humanitarian Bowl while the MAC's champion was given a berth in the Motor City Bowl. 1997 and 1998 saw a team from the Western Athletic Conference face an at-large team, and the Mountain West Conference took over for the WAC for the 1999 and 2000 games. Since 2001, the Mountain West and Pacific-12 Conferences (originally known as the Pacific-10 Conference) have matched up in Las Vegas.
From 2001 until 2005, the second place team in the Mountain West was chosen to face the Pac-12. Beginning in 2006, after its contract with the Liberty Bowl expired, the Mountain West agreed to send its champion to the Las Vegas Bowl to face the Pac-12's 5th or 6th place team. From 2006 until 2013, the Mountain West would send a secondary team if the champion qualified for the Bowl Championship Series or, as per the rules of the Hawai'i Bowl, was Hawai'i. The 2016 game will pit the Pac-12's #6 team against the winner of the Mountain West Conference Football Championship Game, provided that the winner of the game does not automatically qualify for one of the College Football Playoff's six bowls as the highest-ranking member of the "Group of Five" (champions of the Mountain West, Sun Belt, American, or Mid-American Conferences, as well as the Conference USA champion comprise this group).
The game is officially known as Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl, since Royal Purple was announced as title sponsor on September 25, 2013 as part of a new three-year agreement.