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Big Ten Championship Game To Remain In Indianapolis Through At Least 2024 Season

The conference had discussed rotating venues within its footprint as early as this fall.
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Although the Big Ten has discussed rotating venues for the annual football championship game, the conference announced on Wednesday it will remain in Indianapolis through at least the 2024 season.

The game has been held at Lucas Oil Stadium – home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts – every year since its inception in 2011. But the Big Ten also several other options within its footprint that it was considering, including Chicago’s Solider Field, Detroit’s Ford Field, Green Bay's Lambeau Field, Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium and New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.

“We’re going to sit down and figure out the best way to rotate it, probably take out a (request for proposal) for basketball and football,” commissioner Kevin Warren said last summer. “I’m open to any location our fans will travel to and enjoy in our footprint, anywhere from Nebraska to New Jersey.”

That would expand the options to include Baltimore’s M&T Banks Stadium, Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium, Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium, Maryland’s FedEx Field, Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field and Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.

The Big Ten apparently felt it was best to remain in Indianapolis for at least the next three seasons, however. This year’s game is set for Dec. 3, while the 2023 and 2024 games will take place on Dec. 2 and Dec. 7, respectively.

Additionally, the Big Ten announced the 2024 men’s basketball tournament and the 2023 and 2024 women’s basketball tournaments will be held at Target Center in Minneapolis.

The men’s basketball tournament has been held in four different cities over the last six years, including at Washington D.C.’s Capital One Arena in 2017, New York City’s Madison Square Garden in 2018, Chicago’s United Center in 2019 and Indianapolis’ Gainbridge Fieldhouse from 2020-22. The 2023 tournament will also be held in Chicago.

The women’s tournament has been played in Indianapolis every year since 2016, meanwhile.

"We are thrilled to bring marquee conference events such as the Big Ten Football Championship Game and the Big Ten Basketball Tournaments to world-class cities and venues within the conference footprint,” Warren said in a statement. “Indianapolis and Minneapolis each have a strong history and tradition of hosting some of the world’s premier events in cities that feature an exceptional base of Big Ten Conference alumni and fans.

“We look forward to creating new memories and experiences for our student-athletes, coaches, and member institutions, further expanding our fanbase, cultivating relationships with the business community and fostering a positive and lasting impact on these cities.”

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