Big Ten Championship: 5 Other Cities That Should Be Considered in the Future
Over the weekend the Big Ten announced that Lucas Oil Stadium would be the host of the conference title game through the 2015 season. Lucas Oil is also the host for this year's Super Bowl—that is, if there is an NFL season.
Having the title game in Indy geographically is a fit. It is relatively close for many of the teams, minus Penn State, Minnesota and Nebraska. It will also make big-time dollars for the city with the fans that will flock to Indiana's state capital.
But is having the game in Indy for the next five seasons a good thing?
Everyone will have their opinion on that. I personally think that the game should be rotated every two years to a total of six different sites to accommodate every geographic area of the Big Ten.
So here is a list of five other cities and their major sports facilities that should have their chance at hosting the big game.
Miller Park in Milwaukee
The first city on our countdown is Milwaukee. Now there is no professional football stadium here, but Miller Park is one of the finest places to see a baseball game. Why not convert it so that it can host the Big Ten title game?
Geographically it is a hop, skip and a jump from Madison and Evanston.
By converting a baseball field into a championship game football stadium, the Big Ten would undoubtedly earn a ton of press, just like the Wrigley Field game this past season. Hopefully sandlot rules would not apply.
Miller Park could be a gem that has yet to be polished in the Big Ten title game future.
Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland
Browns Stadium in Cleveland is perhaps one of the less appealing places to have the game. The weather will be poor, it will be cold and the wind will be whipping around off the lake. But isn't that vintage Big Ten football weather?
The likelihood of the title game being played here is slim to none, but it would be nice for the Michigan schools, Ohio State and Penn State geographically. It would also be a huge boost to the Cleveland economy that has taken its hits over the years.
To have a title game played in a cold, outdoor setting is what Big Ten purists would love. However, the league and sponsors know that dome games are more attractive to a majority of the fans and high-end spenders who do not want to pay big-time bucks to sit in cold and crappy club-level seating.
The Metrodome in Minneapolis
For years the Golden Gophers played their home games down the road in the Metrodome. For years they complained about having an on-campus football facility. They now have it, while the Metrodome is in need of fixing.
So why play the game here?
Well, the Vikings of the NFL are trying very hard to get a new facility built. By landing a game like this, it could prove to the city and private investors that the stadium would end up paying for itself.
The Metrodome itself is not the greatest place to see a game, but the geographic teams out west deserve one close to home, and this would be the best place to have it.
Ford Field in Detroit
Ford Field has already seen its share of big-time games during its short lifespan. It was the home to a Super Bowl back in 2006. It played host to the Final Four in 2009. So why not the Big Ten title game?
It is currently the host for the MAC title game, but if you have ever watched this game, you see more empty seats than people. Detroit and Ford Field is a major conference title game home, not a mid-major.
Geographically it makes sense for a majority of teams, and for economics, the sky is the limit for a city that has been hit the hardest by a recession.
Ford Field will eventually get its turn—there is no doubt about that. Can you say 2016?
Soldier Field in Chicago
Chicago and the Big Ten. They seem to go hand in hand.
The preseason luncheons are held there each and every August. It has a rebuilt Soldier Field that would be ideal for a title game. Outside of the weather conditions in December, what isn't there to love?
Despite all the love for having the game here, I doubt it will happen. Again, the decision-makers want an indoor game where weather will not play a factor.
There are a number of other cities and stadiums that could also be considered for the prestigious game.
Arrowhead in Kansas City would be ideal for Nebraska fans but quite a bit of a haul for everyone else in the conference. Plus it is kind of Big 12 territory.
Lambeau Field would be iconic but way tooooooo cold for the Big Ten to consider.
The TWA-Edward Jones-whatever they call it dome in St. Louis would be a nice fit, but again, kind of Big 12 territory.
Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati could be a nice place for the game. Geographically it makes sense for the eastern part of the conference. But it is an outdoor facility.
Heinz Field in Pittsburgh is close to Penn State and not really anyone else. Plus Pitt plays its home games there.
So where else on the map should be taken into consideration?
Do you prefer outdoor or indoor games?
I guess at this point us Big Ten fans should get used to Lucas Oil Stadium for the next five years.