Big Ten title game to Indy?

The word going around Assembly Hall is that Indianapolis is about to be announced as the host of the Big Ten football championship game for 2011. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said at Big Ten Media Days this week that he was leaning toward naming a host for this year only and waiting until the spring to reassess the host for the long term. That appears to be the case here. An official announcement is expected within the hour.

UPDATE, 5:53 p.m.

The Big Ten just put out a release. According to the conference, Indianapolis has been selected as “the proposed site,” for the title game. That means Indy now has 30 days to work out a deal to host the game for 2011. The release follows.

Park Ridge, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced today that Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis has been chosen as the proposed site for the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game to be played in December of 2011. 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.”

The 115th season of Big Ten football kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 2, as Indiana hosts Towson, Minnesota plays at Middle Tennessee State, and Ohio State welcomes Marshall. The conference’s other eight teams open action on Saturday, Sept. 4.

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