Chicago and Indianapolis will continue to have a postseason presence in the Big Ten Conference.
The league announced Thursday that the men’s Big Ten basketball tournament will return to the United Center in Chicago in 2019 and 2021, and be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in 2020 and 2022.
The league also announced that the Big Ten Football Championship Game will stay anchored at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis through 2021, and the Big Ten women’s basketball tournament will be at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis from 2017 through 2022. Under the previous deal, the women’s tournament will be played at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., in 2015 and Indianapolis in 2016.
Thursday’s announcement, based on a recommendation of university administrators, were unanimously approved by the Big Ten’s Council of Presidents/Chancellors.
Chicago and Indianapolis have hosted the first 17 men’s basketball tournaments. Chicago will also host in 2015 and Indianapolis in 2016 as part of the previous agreement. The league announced last month that it would take the tournament to the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C., in 2017.
The move east was seen as a way to welcome Maryland into the conference. Maryland and Rutgers join the league on July 1. The 2018 site remains open, but there is speculation that the tournament could be headed to Madison Square Garden in New York City that year as a similar welcoming gesture to Rutgers.
But a majority of the tournament’s basketball and football future will be grounded in Chicago and Indianapolis.
“These two cities have been tremendous hosts and partners with first-class facilities and an outstanding base of Big Ten alumni and fans who support conference events,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. “We are proud of the history that we have developed with these two great cities and look forward to maintaining a significant presence in both locations.”