On Tuesday morning, the Big Ten Conference officially announced that they were moving the men’s Big Ten Tournament from Chicago, Ill. to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following, even tangentially, as this move has been rumored for weeks.
Here is the full statement from the conference:
The Big Ten Conference Administrators Council, which includes the Directors of Athletics and Senior Women Administrators from all 14 member institutions, approved measures to relocate the 2021 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament from the United Center in Chicago to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The decision to relocate the tournament was made in collaboration with the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors and the conference office.
The decision to relocate the tournament to Indianapolis was based on multiple factors. First and foremost was the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, officials and conference constituents. Hosting both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in the same city allows for cohesive testing and medical protocols for both events, as well as centralized accommodations surrounding the competition venues.
The Big Ten Conference is grateful to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the city of Chicago and our partners at the United Center and the Chicago Sports Commission for their flexibility and to Indiana Sports Corp, Lucas Oil Stadium and the city of Indianapolis for being able to assist our basketball teams during these unprecedented times.
The United Center and the city of Chicago have played a vital role in the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament over the past two decades and the conference looks forward to the tournament returning to the United Center in 2023.
The 2021 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held March 10-14 in Indianapolis and will precede the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, which was moved to Indianapolis and surrounding communities in the state of Indiana in January.
With the Big Ten Women’s Tournament already scheduled to be held in Indy, along with the entire men’s NCAA Tournament, this move makes a ton of sense for the conference. Matt Norlander of CBS Sports reported at the end of January that the NCAA is “asking teams with “high probability” of being selected as at-larges to stay in their conference tournament location between the end of their league tourney and the bracket reveal.”
Now that the Big Ten Tournament is officially in Indianapolis:— Dylan Burkhardt (@umhoops) February 9, 2021
A Big Ten team that plays in the National Championship would be in Indianapolis for 25 consecutive days: March 11th through April 5th.
So, let’s hope the Badgers are forced to get real familiar with the takeout policies of various Indy restaurants next month!