We've taken a firm stance here at Your Best 11, where the championship sites are concerned. The game should most certainly be moved up north to give fans all over access to the title game. However, those games must also be played in a good weather location, including a dome, to ensure the highest quality of football. Well, the hopes of having a game take place above the Mason-Dixon line took a big hit. From Michael Pointer at the Indianapolis Star:
"Therefore, just for purposes of the press, and to tie a ribbon around this topic, it is highly unlikely that Indianapolis will pursue the BCS national championship in the near future,’’ said Williams, who leaves her post later this year. “And I underline, near future.”
That's quite a blow for the hopes of folks in Big Ten country as it seems Detroit is the only remaining choice with legitimate interest in hosting the event and the venue to do so. Apparently, in Indianapolis, gearing up to bid for a Super Bowl in 2018 and the Olympic Trials in 2016 precludes it from wanting any part of college football.
Certainly the city has designs on college basketball, hosting both the men's and women's Final Four in 2016 and 2015 respectively. Indy is hosting the Big Ten Championship through 2015 on the gridiron, so there is some college football interest. However, given the fact that the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game did not do so hot, perhaps the folks in Indianapolis are not hot on college football.
The interesting part is the "near future" emphasis at the end of the statement. With less than stellar sales of the Big Ten game, it would better serve the city and the venue to wait and see. Perhaps an Ohio State or Michigan appearance in the game ignites a ticket-selling firestorm that sways the city. If you're a Midwestern fan who wants to see a title game in your region, let's hope that's the case.
Ultimately the southern cities are lining up to bid for the big game, because as a northern city pulls out of the race, that's a shot to the Midwest's chances of hosting the big championship game too. If Big Ten folks want the unfair advantage of a southern title game to be a thing of the past, the cities in their neck of the woods need to get on the ball to make it happen.