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If Chicago wants Super Bowl, why not B1G Championship Game too?

A view of Soldier Field from a helicopte Getty Images

Now that we know that it is possible to play a championship game of football outside in the cold elements, the idea is one that seems to be gaining traction in cold weather cities. Hosting a Super Bowl is the biggest ticket there is in the football world, but hosting a college football championship or a conference championship is not all that bad of a gig either. With Chicago making a push to one day host a Super Bowl, perhaps the Windy City could become a more ideal destination for the Big Ten Championship Game as well.

According to Pro Football Talk, Chicago is reviewing plans to potentially add 5,000 seats to Soldier Field, home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears. The goal would be to make Soldier Field an attractive venue for a potential Super Bowl by increasing the seating capacity to a more desirable number for the NFL. But hey, if the whole Super Bowl thing does not work out, the Big Ten Championship Game could make a nice home in Soldier Field. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has suggested the conference is not glued to Indianapolis and that rotating between cities could be an option down the line. If that is the case, Chicago would easily be one of the top targets. The Big Ten is based in Chicago and can easily serve as the central point for the entire conference even with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers this year. The biggest obstacle in place would be the NFL schedule. Because Chicago has a natural grass field, hosting an extra game not involving the home town Bears does come with some mild concerns, but there are a number of stadiums that serve dual purposes for the NFL and college football even with a natural turf (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Tampa for example), so it can be done, especially for just one game.

The first three Big Ten Championship Games have been held in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The ability to host the game under a roof is an attraction for the Big Ten, but it takes the conference away from what is supposed to differentiate Big Ten football from other brands. Games being played in the elements in the fall are supposed to be what makes the Big Ten different, but playing the championship game inside gets away from the typical Big Ten image.

In 2012 the game attracted just 41,260 fans and in the first year the Big Ten was accused of paying people to fill seats. Last fall the Big Ten Championship Game welcomed 66,002 fans to watch Michigan State upset undefeated Ohio State. Would moving the game outdoor sin a larger city, that is supposedly much more convenient to travel to, have an impact on the future ticket sales of the game? Perhaps not as much as the game’s participants and the fan bases they would bring with them.

Ohio State will help pack the stadium no matter where the game is played. Michigan will as well. Perhaps Illinois or Northwestern would do their part if the game was played in Chicago, but there is evidence that would argue otherwise.

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11 Responses to “If Chicago wants Super Bowl, why not B1G Championship Game too?”
  1. freerayray52 says: Mar 5, 2014 2:09 PM

    Big ten should rotate through several stadiums. BAL, PHI, NYG PIT IND CHI DET GB MIN CIN CLE. THERE ARE PLENTY OF PLACES TO PLAY MOST OF THEM BETTER THAN IND

  2. 10kmp says: Mar 5, 2014 2:46 PM

    Would love to see the B1G title game in Chicago. Cold weather is part of the B1G’s DNA… play the game outside, in the elements and in one of the country’s primer cities. Playing the game in a dome to avoid the cold is something the SEC does…

  3. auburntigers34 says: Mar 5, 2014 5:58 PM

    ” Playing the game in a dome to avoid the cold is something the SEC does…”

    It’s also something that The B1G does. But don’t let facts get in the way of your SEC obsession. Maybe the B1G will be a relevant conference again one day.

  4. 10kmp says: Mar 5, 2014 7:08 PM

    @auburnblahblahblh…

    Thanks for your input. Now you can go back to hunting gators and selling moonshine… or whatever it is you folks do. I mean other than whining about the cold and avoiding games above the mason-dixon line.

  5. indi0228 says: Mar 5, 2014 9:23 PM

    The B1G doesn’t pay its players, provide cars, ect. We even care about things like academics. Auburn pays for the top players in the land….. like say….Cam Newton.

  6. BrownsTown says: Mar 5, 2014 10:31 PM

    Leave it to SEC fans to bring up conference. I guess if I just lost to the team with only the 62nd best SOS, I’d cling to my conference as well.

  7. normtide says: Mar 6, 2014 2:53 AM

    The b1g doesn’t pay night games in November, because they don’t want to play in the cold. It is league policy, or has been. They also chose a dome for it’s title game. Because they didn’t want to play in the cold. Weather is just another excuse their fans make, one of many. The SEC doesn’t have to make excuses, because they win enough.

    BBrownsclowns, 10kamp brought up the SEC, probably because of the obsession that all b1g fans have with winning. Sadly that obsession can only manifest by living vicariously through SEC fans. Also, what was Clemson’s and MSU’s SOS? Or the buckeye’s for that matter? If you had such a great education, why do you never use it?

  8. 10kmp says: Mar 6, 2014 8:58 AM

    @normtide…

    While I certainly admit (begrudgingly) that the SEC sets the standard for college football conferences in 2014, if I were an SEC alum (with the lone exception of Vanderbilt) the very LAST thing I would bring up is any reference whatsoever to “education”. Just stick with over-signing kids (again, excepting Vanderbilt), making sure your fraternities & sororities are segregated, and keeping those dreaded homosexuals in their second-class place.

  9. normtide says: Mar 6, 2014 12:35 PM

    Again, a man with such an outstanding education as yourself should do some research. Over the last five years, teams like Michigan have done their share of over signing. Another point, I find that when a person must tell you how smart they are, they probably aren’t. Intelligence usually speaks for itself my friend. Then again, I doubt your posting anything on collegemathclasstalk.com. So I would say in turn, a b1g fan probably shouldn’t be talking about athletics. But, I do talk about education and you talk about football. The fact this is a football site makes one of us a fool.

  10. auburntigers34 says: Mar 6, 2014 2:45 PM

    Yeah, The B1G is the conference of academics and integrity…..and Sandusky, Paterno, Urban Meyer, and Jim Tressel.

    Have fun playing Friday Night football with all of the other high school caliber teams.

  11. auburntigers34 says: Mar 6, 2014 2:50 PM

    BrownsTown says: Mar 5, 2014 10:31 PM

    Leave it to SEC fans to bring up conference. I guess if I just lost to the team with only the 62nd best SOS, I’d cling to my conference as well.

    Did Ohio State even win their own weak-ass conference year? How about their bowl game?

    and fwiw, i wasn’t the one that brought conference bashing into the comments section on this article. learn to read.

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