Indianapolis will play host to the Big Ten Conference football championship games through 2015, outbidding Chicago in a fight to lure the prestigious new event, the conference announced Sunday afternoon.
In addition, Indianapolis landed the 2014 and 2016 Big Ten men's and women's basketball tournaments.
Indianapolis had already been awarded the inaugural Big Ten football title game in 2011, but Sunday's decision makes the city the host of the game for its first five years. The games will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium. This year's game will be played in prime time on Dec. 3, 2011.
Chicago was awarded the Big Ten men's and women's basketball tournaments in 2013 and 2015, but Indianapolis will host the games in 2012, 2014 and 2016 at Conseco Fieldhouse.
"This is a great win for us today," said Indiana Sports Corp. President Susan Williams in a prepared statement. "These events will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to our city over the next few years. Our city will repeatedly be on display to a national television audience, and these events create wonderful experiences for citizens of Indiana and the youth of our region."
The Big Ten's council of Presidents/Chancellors voted unanimously to give the football title game to Indianapolis. The game could have an annual economic impact of $20 million on Indianapolis, the Indiana Sports Corp. estimated.
"For anyone who has been around the Final Four or the Super Bowl, you can't help but look at the integrated nature of the Indianapolis bid process," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany told the Chicago Tribune. "The people in the NFL, NBA and NCAA will tell you this: Indianapolis has a unique ability that has been developed over the last three decades to deliver turnkey events in a quality way."
Indianapolis saw increased attendance when it hosted this year's men's basketball tournament in the fourth year of a five-year contract.
The Indianapolis Convention & Vistors Association estimates that visitors to the men's Big Ten basketball tournament spend $8 million during the four-day span in Indianapolis. The women’s Big Ten tournament adds another $2 million in visitor spending to the city, according to the ICVA.
The Big Ten launched its men’s basketball tournament in 1998 in Chicago, where it was held through 2001. In 2002, it moved to Indianapolis. Chicago and Indianapolis held the tournament on alternate years through 2007 until conference officials signed the five-year deal with Indianapolis.