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Big 12 Set to Play Football, Basketball Games in Mexico Starting in 2024

The Big 12 has been exploring playing football and men’s and women’s basketball games in Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico, with a preferred top 10 men’s hoops matchup between Kansas and Houston, multiple sources tell Sports Illustrated.

The conference has had tentative plans to hold regular-season league games south of the border for months, with first-year commissioner Brett Yormark even visiting Mexico City last week. He met with officials and toured potential sites, including at 22,300-seat Arena CDMX in Mexico City for basketball. Football games would be played in Monterrey at Estadio BBVA, a 53,000-seat venue nicknamed El Gigante de Acero. The Houston Chronicle first reported the news of potential games in Mexico.

The league expects to begin holding basketball games in Mexico during the 2024–25 season and football in fall of ’25, a source told SI. In a more long-term plan, the conference is also looking to add baseball and soccer games in Mexico.

Yormark, 56, was hired last summer from an entertainment agency to run the Big 12 and has been aggressive in his first few months on the job. He struck a new TV deal with ESPN and Fox in the fall, racing in front of the Pac-12 to secure a contract that, despite losing Texas and Oklahoma, increased in value. He was also instrumental in negotiations that resulted in a $100 million combined exit fee for Texas and Oklahoma to leave a year early for the SEC. 

Yormark is currently pursuing expansion, having identified a number of potential programs, many of whom currently reside in the Pac-12. Those discussions are ongoing as the Pac-12 seeks its own new television contract.

The foray into Mexico has been a topic discussed among Big 12 administrators since the fall. Yormark planned to continue discussions Tuesday, as the league’s administrative meetings are scheduled to be held here over the next two to three days.