I'm sorry if this is beating a dead horse, but there's not too many big basketball matchups coming up for a bit and some recent news about the Big Ten Tournament brings a new point that might be worthy to add to the discussion. Yesterday the B1G announced that for the first time in it's 16 year history, the Big Ten Tournament has been sold out in advance and that there are no more tickets for any of the games. What's interesting about this is that for the first time in years, the tournament is being played in Chicago. It brings up just another point in what will be a neverending debate among B1G fans: should events be held in Indianapolis or Chicago? Let's compare the two.
Indianapolis is arguably the most central city in the conference, especially now as the B1G is moving Eastward. It's pretty accessible and it's airport isn't too bad. The city also goes through great lengths to put on a good event too, and people that have gone to the B1G CCG and Big Ten Tournament say that Indianapolis provides a pretty good experience, especially for basketball as Indianapolis is in the center of a basketball-crazed state. Despite all this, the conference championship game didn't see great ticket sales, especially compared to the inaugural game in 2011 and the basketball tournament has never sold out in advance despite Indiana being basketball-crazy.
Chicago is where the B1G is headquartered, and is the site of the largest B1G alumni base. Chicago has O'Hare and you can fly into O'Hare from just about anywhere. Chicago also has a lot more to offer from a tourist standpoint, but at the same time because of that, the Big Ten Tournament isn't the city's showcase event when it goes on like it is in Indianapolis. The United Center is also not very close to where many people prefer to eat and stay in Chicago, and to get there is a hassle. Football hasn't had the opportunity to host the conference championship game, but Soldier Field's turf problems are well known.
Currently Chicago is set to host the tournament in 2013 and 2015 and Indianapolis get's to host in 2014 and 2016. I've always been an advocate for Chicago, as you've seen in my posts on the subject. Some of you are big fans of Indianapolis hosting the events and that's fine too. Seeing the fact that Indianapolis never sold out the event in advance was surprising considering how much they love basketball in Indiana and how well of an event Indianapolis is said to put on. Of course, it selling out this year might be attributed to IU being #1, Michigan being in the top 10 and the overall quality of B1G basketball this year. Knowing that this is the first advance sellout ever for the Big Ten Tournament, I'm leaning even more towards Chicago but I'd really like to hear the OTE community's take on this: with this news, should Chicago get more opportunities to host conference championship events, or do you think that Indianapolis should keep getting the bulk of hosting opportunities and why?
Also thank you to anyone that takes the time to read and respond to this.