Big Ten Football Title Game To Remain In Midwest Despite Additions Of Rutgers, Maryland
While the Big Ten is "mobilizing to increase its brand in the valuable Northeast corridor" ahead of the additions of Rutgers and Maryland, feedback gathered from top athletics officials and faculty reps last fall suggests the football championship game "will remain in the center of the conference footprint," according to Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com. Lucas Oil Stadium has "successfully hosted the first three title games and qualifies as a central location," while Soldier Field is "another option, and centrally located cities such as Detroit and Cleveland also could be in the mix." Big Ten Deputy Commissioner Brad Traviolia said, "Say you have an Indiana-Nebraska game at a New York- or a DC-type location, or if you had Purdue-Maryland and you had that in Minneapolis -- is that a good deal? In talking through those things, we think football in the central region probably makes sense, and basketball, if we want to move around and be both in the East and the Midwest, basketball is probably the sport to do that." However, the conference will "likely be a bigger presence" at neutral-site football venues like MetLife Stadium and FedExField. The Big Ten men's and women's basketball tournaments have "rotated between Chicago and Indianapolis." Traviolia said of the basketball tourneys, "They're all-comer tournaments because you have all 14 teams that are going to be playing in them. Regardless of where you place it, you're going to have a team or two that basically will be a home team" (ESPN.com, 1/22).