COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. The Big 12 Conference concluded its annual spring meetings on Thursday in Colorado Springs, and among the outcomes was the announcement that the men's and women's basketball championships will return to Oklahoma City in 2009. The sessions held included the full Joint Council, consisting of faculty athletic representatives, athletics directors and senior woman administrators representing each of the member institutions. The Board of Directors also met at the site.
As part of the meetings, the Big 12 Conference approved future championship sites in football and basketball, pending completion of final negotiations with each of the cities. The conference also approved the adjustment of the schedule formats for the men's and women's basketball championships to Wednesday - Saturday and Thursday - Sunday, respectively.
The 2008 football title game would be in Kansas City and the Big 12 would go to Arlington, Texas to hold the 2009 and 2010 contests in the new stadium of the Dallas Cowboys. The 2009 basketball championships would be held in Oklahoma City, with the 2010 and 2011 events conducted in Kansas City.
"We sincerely appreciate all the cities that submitted proposals," said Big 12 Conference Commissioner Kevin Weiberg. "These are always difficult decisions and we have been very appreciative of the efforts of all the cities and those that have hosted in the past."
"This award of sites does not set any precedent of anchoring our championships in particular cities," noted University of Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman, chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors. "The Board continues to be supportive of rotating these championships."
In 2008, the football game would mark the fifth time overall that Kansas City plays host to the Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship game. The game would be at Arrowhead Stadium (79,451), which has hosted the event more than any other venue.
The Big 12 will look to host the 2009 and `10 title contest at the Dallas Cowboys new stadium, which is under construction in Arlington, Texas. The venue, located between Dallas and Fort Worth, is expected to be one of the top football facilities in the nation and will seat approximately 80,000 fans.
The Phillips 66 Big 12 Basketball Championships would go back to Oklahoma City for the second time in three years in 2009. The area held the basketball championships this past year at the Ford Center (men) and Cox Convention Center (women) and will utilize those venues again in 2009.
The basketball championships are already slated to return to Kansas City for the eighth time in 2008. With completion of negotiation for awarding the two additional future sites, the city will have played host to 10 Big 12 Basketball Championships more than any other city. Kansas City hosted the first six Big 12 Basketball Championships from 1997-02, as well as 2005. The men's championship would take place at the Sprint Center, scheduled to open in October 2007, while the women's would be headquartered at Municipal Auditorium.
"We are excited about the prospects of returning to the cities that have previously hosted and are equally excited about entering the new venues in Kansas City and Arlington," Weiberg added.
The adjustment of the basketball championship schedules will have the men's event beginning on Wednesday, with the title game taking place on Saturday. The women's championship will begin on Thursday and end on Sunday. The off day in the women's event would be eliminated. Both of these changes would take place beginning with the 2008-09 season, pending confirmation with the host cities and venues. Game times would be determined at a later date.
Chancellor Perlman also mentioned the Board of Directors policy regarding postseason college football. "The Board had a discussion and reaffirmed its long-standing policy to be opposed to any major playoff proposal," he said.
"The Board also reaffirmed the Big 12 sportsmanship policy on no comment regarding officiating from coaches, athletics directors and other athletic administrators," he stated. "We also applied those policies to ourselves as Chancellors and Presidents."
Weiberg also announced the league revenue for the 2006-07 academic season. The Conference anticipates distributing a record $106 million to the membership for this fiscal year.