Dallas, Kansas City to host Big 12 football, basketball championship games

Updated: May 24, 2007, 10:51 PM ET
Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The appeal of playing in new facilities was too hard for the Big 12 Conference to resist.

The league's board of directors approved proposals Thursday to hold its football championship in the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium and the basketball title game in Kansas City's Sprint Center, providing both are completed in time.

The championship games will be held in the venues over a two-year period, beginning with the 2009-10 season. The deals are pending completion of facilities and negotiations.

At its annual spring meeting, the board also approved a proposal to move the men's basketball tournament championship game from Sunday to Saturday, beginning with the 2008-09 season. The game will be televised on ESPN between the Atlantic Coast Conference semifinals and the Big East finals. The women's game will now be held Sunday.

The switch gives the NCAA men's selection committee more time to evaluate Big 12 teams.

Kansas City, Mo., will host the basketball tournament next season while San Antonio hosts the football championship.

The board awarded Kansas City the basketball tournament over Tulsa, Okla., Omaha, Neb., and Dallas.

The board also voted to hold the 2008-09 football championship at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The basketball tournament in '09 will take place in Oklahoma City.

Dallas's new state-of-the-art, 100,000-seat facility is raking in new business. NFL owners recently voted to play the 2011 Super Bowl in the Cowboys' stadium in Arlington, Texas.

"There's always an attractiveness to new facilities," Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg said. "We're optimistic it (the stadiums) will be done."

Weiberg said there was a strong desire to be in Dallas' new stadium when it's scheduled to open in 2009.

The committee reaffirmed the conference's strong opposition to any major playoff proposal. However, the league would be open to a plus-one system, under the right circumstances. Such a system would settle which team is No. 1 by playing an extra game.

"A number of criteria would have to be satisfied," said Harvey Perlman, Nebraska Chancellor and chairman of the board of directors. "No more than 14 games, no games during finals, no reduction in the regular season and a compatibility with the bowl structure."

Perlman reiterated the league's hard-line stance on negative comments toward officials.

"We would want 'No comment' on officiating from coaches, athletic directors and people of athletic authority," Perlman said. "Any rule like this is a difficult one to enforce because people are very creative about making no comments. Our rule is still no comment."

Weiberg announced the league will distribute a record $106 million in revenue to its schools after the 2006-07 academic year. He also said he expected an even a higher rate of return in 2008-09 when the league's new television contract with ESPN and ABC begins.

"We have a nice growth trajectory," Weiberg said.

The board of directors had allocated another day to plow through all its official business. However, the board members needed just a four-hour session.

"We were able to get everything done," said G.P. "Bud" Peterson, Colorado chancellor and board member. "There was not a lot of contentious issues. There was a lot of agreement on where we're headed and a lot of consensus on the future sites."

Peterson was disappointed that Denver didn't submit any bids to host either the basketball or football championships.

"I'm a little surprised," he said. "I'm not sure I understand why that is."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press