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Nevada's 2026 game at UCLA will give Wolf Pack its 10th $1 million-plus check

Rose Bowl
Nevada is headed to the Rose Bowl to play UCLA in 2026. (UCLA athletics)

Nevada football's game at UCLA in 2026 will pay the Wolf Pack $1.3 million, the 10th game in school history with a seven-figure payout.

The Wolf Pack's game at the Rose Bowl, which was announced last week, will be tied for the sixth highest payout in school history along with a 2017 game at Northwestern.

Nevada Sports Net received the official contract between Nevada and UCLA following a public records request, which revealed the $1.3 million payout, which is due to Nevada on or before April 1, 2027. The game is scheduled to be played Sept. 19, 2026. It is a one-game contract, so UCLA will not return a game to Mackay Stadium.

The game was agreed upon and signed by Nevada on Sept. 16, 2019. UCLA finalized the deal by signing it Sept. 26, 2019. It will be a return to UCLA for Nevada head coach Jay Norvell, who was the Bruins' offensive coordinator in 2007. Wolf Pack wide receivers coach Eric Scott also played and coached for the Bruins.

UCLA is coming off a 3-8 season, including a 4-5 mark in Pac-12 play, under second-year coach Chip Kelly, who is 7-17 in two seasons with the Bruins.

Other interesting tidbits from the game contract include:

* The Pac-12 will retain the television rights to the game.

* Pac-12 officials will be used for the game. UCLA will pay for the referees.

* Nevada will get 600 complimentary tickets from UCLA.

* Nevada's cheerleaders, mascots and band will get into the game free. The band will count against the 600 complementary tickets.

* If either team cancels the game 24 months prior to scheduled kickoff, it will owe the opposition $1.5 million. If the game is canceled within 24 months of the contest, it will owe the opposition $1.75 million.

Nevada has at least one $1 million-plus game every year until 2024, plus this 2026 matchup and a future game against Penn State without a date. The Wolf Pack has two major payday games in Southern California in the coming years, which is one of its top recruiting grounds. It also plays at USC in 2023 in a game that will guaranteed Nevada a school-record $1.6 million.

Major payday

A look at the top-10 one-game guarantees in Wolf Pack football history.

1. at USC (2023), $1.6 million

2t. at Arkansas (2020), $1.5 million

2t. at Texas A&M (2015), $1.5 million

2t. at Iowa (2022), $1.5 million

5. at Penn State (TBD), $1.45 million

6t. at Northwestern (2017), $1.3 million

6t. at UCLA (2026), $1.3 million

8. at Minnesota (2024), $1.2 million

9t. at Notre Dame (2016), $1 million

9t. at Kansas State (2021), $1 million

Nevada's future schedule

Here’s a look at Nevada’s non-conference payouts for its future-scheduled games.

2020

Aug. 29: vs. UC Davis (-$375,000)

Sept. 5: at Arkansas (+$1.5 million)

Sept. 12: vs. UTEP (-$400,000)

Sept. 19: at South Florida (+$225,000)

Net: +$950,000

2021

Sept. 4: at Cal (unknown payment)

Sept. 11: vs. Idaho State (-$350,000)

Sept. 18: at Kansas State (+$1 million)

Oct. 9: vs. New Mexico State (-$200,000)

Net: TBD

2022

Aug. 27: at New Mexico State (+$200,000)

Sept. 3: vs. Texas State (-$400,000)

Sept. 10: vs. Incarnate Word (-$400,000)

Sept. 17: at Iowa ($1.5 million)

Net: +$900,000

2023

Sept. 2: at USC (+$1.6 million)

Sept. 16: at Texas State (+$400,000)

Net: TBD

2024

Sept. 14: at Minnesota ($1.2 million)

2026

Sept. 19: at UCLA ($1.3 million)

TBD future year

at Penn State (+$1.45 million)

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