Over in the Tribune, Teddy Greenstein writes that Chicago residents may actually get to see a Big Ten title game at Solider Field in the future. For those that haven’t been paying attention, in July the Big Ten selected Lucas Oil stadium in Indianapolis (home of the Colts) as the inaugural site for the game in 2011. And just in the last few days, it was announced that the conference had inked a deal with Fox Sports Network to show the title game through 2017 at an estimated price of $20-25 million dollars, divided amongst the twelve schools in the league.
Greenstein goes on to quote Big Ten officials who suggest that because the Midwest, home of the Big Ten, has so many potential sites that could host the championship game, the conference will strongly consider moving the game around the region after 2011.
That’s all well and good, but Big Ten fans in Detroit, Minneapolis, or Cleveland shouldn’t plan on hosting the championship game at any point in the future. Why? Because as soon as the conference hosts the game in Chicago, it will find a permanent home.
Yes, yes, the Big Ten has schools throughout the Midwest. And yes, cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul, Cleveland, and Detroit have the facilities to accommodate the game, just as Indy does. But Chicago outclasses all of these locations in terms of amenities and ability to host thousands of traveling fans. This city is also the current home of the conference headquarters and has an absolutely enormous alumni population living within the metro area. It is the perfect home for the title game, and once the Big Ten has it here once, it’s bound to stay.