When I checked out Bob Hunter's Rumblings in today's Dispatch it was great to see this as the lead note in his column...
The Greater Columbus Sports Commission plans to meet with Big Ten officials late this summer and pitch the idea of Columbus playing host to the conference baseball tournament in the new Huntington Park.
Commission executive director Linda Logan and Clippers general manager Ken Schnacke were in Oklahoma City for the Big 12 tournament last week to see how that tournament is run, in preparation for what Logan hopes will be an offer that Big Ten officials can't refuse.
"We've been what I call 'flirting' with them for the past year," Logan said. "Big Ten baseball coaches would like to do it at a predetermined site and build it. The administrators probably aren't quite there yet. We have to overcome some obstacles, but if we're able to put together an attractive package…"
As it stands, the conference regular-season champion plays host to the tournament; that means sometimes the host team doesn't find it will have the event until about five days before. Using a predetermined site would allow for sponsorships, better travel arrangements and bigger crowds.
Battle Creek, Mich., was host of the tournament in 1993-94, the only time since the event started in 1981 that it was held at a neutral site.
Logan said tournament play at Huntington Park could begin as soon as next year. "A lot has to happen," she said, "but we're up for the challenge."
I guess if you can't win the league for the right to be the host you might as well endorse a plan that would bring the tournament to your own backyard.