Big Ten announces title game plans

Updated: June 5, 2011, 9:50 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Indianapolis has prevailed in the campaign to become the permanent host of the new Big Ten football championship game.

The Big Ten's presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Sunday to have the football championship at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium from 2012-15. Lucas Oil already had been selected to host the inaugural football title game Dec. 3.

The Big Ten also announced it will begin rotating its men's and women's basketball tournaments from 2013-16. The men's tournament will take place at the United Center in Chicago in 2013 and 2015, and at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in 2014 and 2016. The women's tournament will take place at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., in 2013 and 2015, and at Conseco Fieldhouse in 2014 and 2016. Conseco will host both the men's and women's tournaments in 2012.

The Big Ten had narrowed down its championship sites for all three events to Indianapolis and Chicago/Hoffman Estates and heard presentations from all the venues last month at its spring meetings.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said having an indoor venue at Lucas Oil, combined with Indianapolis' "integrated approach" to hosting major events, made a difference with the new football championship game. The league considered both three-year and four-year agreements, as well as models that had a rotation of sites.

The football title game will be held in primetime from 2012-15 and be televised by Fox.

"In order to establish ourselves and build a foundation, it's good idea to be indoors and see what we have," Delany said of the football title game. "The major factor was getting off to what I'd describe as a fair-weather start, getting it out there in the way it was predictable. ... Indianapolis has a unique ability to deliver turn-key events in a quality way."

The Big Ten men's basketball tournament began at the United Center in Chicago from 1998-2001, later rotated between the United Center and Conseco Fieldhouse and has been held every year at Conseco since 2008. The women's basketball tournament has been held in Indianapolis in 16 of the event's 17 years, including the past 10 events at Conseco.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com.

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