SBD/June 6, 2011/Colleges

Big Ten Chooses Indianapolis As Site For First Five Football Title Games

Lucas Oil Stadium had already been selected as host for this year's game
The Big Ten yesterday announced that Indianapolis "will be the site of the first five Big Ten football title games, beating out Chicago for the events," according to Jeff Rabjohns of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Indianapolis "already had been awarded the inaugural game, to be played Dec. 3," so the four-year deal announced yesterday means the game will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium through '15. All five Big Ten football title games "will be played in prime time and broadcast on Fox," and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said that Fox "preferred an indoor venue for football." Delany added that weather "was a concern for a December game." Meanwhile, the Big Ten men's and women's basketball tournaments "will rotate between Indianapolis and Chicago" beginning in '13. The tournaments "will be in Chicago in 2013 and 2015 and at Conseco Fieldhouse in 2014 and 2016." Rabjohns notes Indianapolis has "had practice hosting high-profile games." The city "already is in a regular rotation to host both men's and women's Final Fours," and the Big Ten men's and women's basketball tournaments "will be played at Conseco Fieldhouse in 2012, the end of a five-year contract between the league and the city" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 6/6). In Cleveland, Doug Lesmerises writes, "Consider it no small matter that Fox told the Big Ten it preferred an indoor venue" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 6/6). Delany: "In order to establish ourselves and build a foundation, it's [a] good idea to be indoors and see what we have. ... Indianapolis has a unique ability to deliver turn-key events in a quality way" (ESPN.com, 6/5).

SHORT OF THE MARK: In Chicago, Teddy Greenstein reports a "lack of a united effort ... worked against Chicago in football." Big Ten presidents and chancellors "examined bids from three groups (Chicago Park District, United Center, Sears Centre) compared with the synergistic Indiana Sports Corporation proposal." Delany said, "For anyone who has been around the Final Four or the Super Bowl, you can't help but look at the integrated nature of the Indianapolis bid process." Greenstein notes the United Center will host the men's basketball tournaments, while the 11,800-seat Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., will host the women (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/6). Delany said that there is a "chance both men's and women's tournaments will be played at the same time in Chicago and Hoffman Estates in mid-March" (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 6/6).
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