(Columbus Dispatch) ~ Big Ten picks Lucas Oil Stadium for first title game
By TIM MAY As many had expected, the Big Ten picked Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis as the site of the conference's first football championship game, to be staged in December 2011. That is, pending the approval of the administrators of the dome, home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and host to the NCAA Final Four back in April. The following was the release from the Big Ten moments ago: "The conference office will begin a 30-day period to negotiate a one-year agreement with Indiana Sports Corp and Lucas Oil Stadium to host the game. Once the 2011 agreement is in place, the conference office will conduct a thorough process over the next year to determine the location of the Big Ten Football Championship Game in 2012 and beyond. " 'We are excited to work with Indiana Sports Corp and Lucas Oil Stadium to finalize an agreement to hold the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game in the city of Indianapolis,' said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. 'We felt at this time it was important to identify a site for the first championship game and then spend more time with other cities and venues with respect to both our basketball tournaments and the football championship games in the future. The city of Indianapolis has been an outstanding host for our basketball tournaments, and we look forward to holding our first Big Ten Football Championship Game in Lucas Oil Stadium.' " Ohio State coach Jim Tressel issued a statement showing his approval. "Indianapolis is the capital city of college athletics," said Tressel, whose Buckeyes have won or shared the past five Big Ten title. "It will be an honor to aspire to compete in Lucas Oil Stadium." OSU athletic director Gene Smith indicated the choice of Lucas Oil Stadium, at least for the first title game, was logical. "We're excited about the partnership with Indianapolis, because the city and its organizations have consistently demonstrated the ability to host these types of premier events," Smith said. "I'm certain Indy will do a great job hosting the Big Ten football championship."