INDIANAPOLIS – Bankers Life Fieldhouse will continue to play a significant role in hosting the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments under an agreement announced Thursday between the Big Ten and Indiana Sports Corp.
The Big Ten Men’s Tournament, in addition to the already scheduled 2016 event, will return to the Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis in 2020 and 2022. The Big Ten Women’s Tournament, also already on the schedule in 2016, will be played in the Fieldhouse on an annual basis from 2017 through 2022.
The basketball tournaments were part of an announcement that included the awarding of the Big Ten Football Championship to Indianapolis and Lucas Oil Stadium on a recurring basis from 2016-21.
“We are proud and delighted to continue our partnership with Indiana Sports Corp and the Big Ten in bringing championship collegiate basketball events to Bankers Life Fieldhouse,” said Rick Fuson, Pacers Sports & Entertainment Chief Operating Officer.
“At the conclusion of this agreement, the Fieldhouse will have hosted 12 men’s tournaments in a 21-year span, far more than any other city. But in particular, I believe no major venue in the country has been more dedicated, supportive and welcoming to women’s basketball at all levels. With the return of the IHSAA Girls State Finals next year, NCAA Women’s Final Fours in 2011 and 2016, the WNBA Indiana Fever and 20 of 23 Big Ten women’s tournaments from 2000 through 2022, Bankers Life Fieldhouse has clearly become the capital of women’s basketball.”
Prior to the opening of the Fieldhouse in November of 1999, Indianapolis also hosted the Big Ten women’s tournament from 1994-99 in Hinkle Fieldhouse, the RCA Dome and Market Square Arena.
“Today is another great win for Indianapolis,” said Allison Melangton, Indiana Sports Corp President. “The Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments feature an unmatched student-athlete and fan experience in the nation’s premier basketball venue, Bankers Life Fieldhouse. We are excited that the tournaments will continue to be part of our upcoming schedule of events and thank Pacers Sports & Entertainment for its integral role in hosting these events.”