The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament is headed to the Target Center in Minneapolis, but first it’ll spend a year in Chicago.
The Big Ten announced on Wednesday the future sites through 2024 for it’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, as well as the football championship game.
While basketball will be moving from Indianapolis, the football championship game will be staying put. Indianapolis has hosted the game every year since its inception in 2011 and there is no good reason — nor good venues — to move it now.
“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,” Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a release. “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.”
More from the Big Ten release.
The city of Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium will be the site of the Big Ten Football Championship Game through 2024, with the venue having hosted the event since its inception in 2011. Nearly 700,000 fans have attended the Big Ten Football Championship Game, including a record 67,183 fans in 2021, which marked the third-largest football crowd in building history behind only Super Bowl XLVI and the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship. Michigan claimed its first Big Ten Football Championship Game victory in 2021 to become the fifth different school to win the contest.
The 2023 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament will mark the first time that the event has been held outside of Indianapolis since 2015, when the tournament took place in Hoffman Estates, Ill., outside Chicago. Eight different Big Ten teams have claimed the tournament title including Iowa, which won its fourth crown in 2022. More than 860,000 fans have attended the women’s tournament since 1995.
The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament has been held in four different cities over the past six seasons, including Washington, D.C. (2017), New York City (2018), Chicago (2019), and Indianapolis (2020-22). The 2024 tournament will mark the fifth different city to host the event since the inaugural tournament in 1998. Seven Big Ten programs have won the tournament since its debut in 1998, including Iowa claiming its third title in 2022. More than 2.3 million fans have attended the event throughout its history. It was previously announced that the 2023 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held at the United Center in Chicago.
An overview of future Big Ten Football Championship Game and Big Ten Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournament sites can be found below.
|2022 Big Ten Football Championship Game*||Indianapolis||Lucas Oil Stadium||December 3, 2022|
|2023 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament||Minneapolis||Target Center||March 1-5, 2023|
|2023 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament*||Chicago||United Center||March 8-12, 2023|
|2023 Big Ten Football Championship Game||Indianapolis||Lucas Oil Stadium||December 2, 2023|
|2024 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament||Minneapolis||Target Center||March 6-10, 2024|
|2024 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament||Minneapolis||Target Center||March 13-17, 2024|
|2024 Big Ten Football Championship Game||Indianapolis||Lucas Oil Stadium||December 7, 2024|
Q: Why are the sites of the Big Ten Basketball Tournaments rotating?
A: Rotating the premier collegiate conference basketball tournaments to cities within the Big Ten Conference footprint creates new memories for student-athletes, expands the Big Ten Conference fanbase, and helps to grow the game of women’s and men’s college basketball. It also provides opportunity to leave a lasting positive impact on these host communities by creating a groundswell of interest – especially among families with children. Spreading these events to different cities across the footprint allows for wider and deeper engagement with future college students, student-athletes, and fans of women’s and men’s college basketball. “If they see it, they can be it.”
Q: Why was Indianapolis selected to host the 2023 and 2024 Football Championship Games?
A: Indianapolis has an incredibly strong fan base for college football and has successfully hosted 11 Big Ten Football Championship Games. It is a world-class city with a storied history of hosting the biggest events in sports, including the Super Bowl, College Football Playoff National Championship and a host of college basketball events including the women’s and men’s Final Four. The Big Ten Football Championship Game is returning to Indianapolis due to the proximity to many of the Big Ten Conference’s member institutions and the city’s accessibility (i.e., Lucas Oil Stadium is walking distance to many of the downtown hotels).
Q: Why was Minneapolis selected to host basketball tournaments in 2023 and 2024?
A: Minneapolis has an incredibly strong fan base for college hoops, especially women’s basketball, and will be a potent combination with the Big Ten Conference’s premier brand. It is a world-class city and has a strong, compelling basketball history and multiple championships on the hardwood. Additionally, Minneapolis has been home to some of the biggest icons in basketball, including Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, Kevin Garnett, and Flip Saunders. Minneapolis has hosted the biggest events in sports, including the Super Bowl, Men’s Final Four, and Women’s Final Four, and will continue to serve as a best-in-class host city in the future. Additionally, it has a strong WNBA following and showed keen interest to host the women’s tournaments.
Q: Why is the 2023 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in Chicago?
A: Chicago was scheduled to host the 2021 Men’s Basketball Tournament. When that event was relocated to Indianapolis (where the 2021 women’s tournament was being held) due to COVID-19 restrictions, the decision was made to return the event to Chicago in 2023.
Q: How was it decided where these events would be in 2023 and 2024?
A: The Big Ten Conference serves 14 world-class member institutions and nearly 10,000 student-athletes. It is in the best interest of these key constituents to explore all viable options for our marquee events to deliver extraordinary experiences for student-athletes, fans, and other constituents. To do this fairly and properly, and to create competition for these events that are already in high demand, we created a formal request for proposals (RFP) and a wide range of cities within the Big Ten Conference footprint responded with great interest. This is akin to what other best-in-class sports properties do prior to awarding their marquee, tentpole events to cities.
Q: What other steps were included in the process?
A: Each proposal was presented to a group comprised of the athletics directors (ADs), senior woman administrators (SWAs), and faculty athletics representatives (FARs) from all 14 Big Ten Conference member institutions.