Thursday, December 18, 2008

2009 Big Ten Championships coming to Columbus

2009 tournament will mark first neutral-site event since 1994.

The Big Ten Conference and Greater Columbus Sports Commission announced today that Huntington Park, the home of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, will serve as the host site for the 2009 Big Ten Baseball Tournament. The event will mark the Big Ten’s first neutral-site baseball tournament since 1994.

“We are excited to announce that the 2009 Big Ten Baseball Tournament will be held at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio,” said Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. “Moving the baseball tournament to a neutral site will allow the conference office and the local organizing committee to promote this event throughout the season. In addition, playing at an outstanding facility like Huntington Park will enhance the experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans. We’re looking forward to the first pitch of the tournament in May.”

“We are thrilled to host the Big Ten Baseball Tournament in 2009,” said Greater Columbus Sports Commission executive director Linda Shetina Logan. “Huntington Park is going to be the one of the best ballparks in the nation and will serve as the perfect backdrop as we roll out the red carpet to the players, coaches and fans in attendance. Our goal is to create an atmosphere similar to the College World Series.”

“We are proud to be hosting the Big Ten Baseball Tournament at Huntington Park,” said Columbus Clippers general manager Ken Schnacke. “And we thank the Big Ten Conference for allowing us the opportunity to show that Columbus is the best location to host its conference baseball tournament.”

Huntington Park will open on April 18 as the home of the Columbus Clippers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2009 Big Ten Baseball Tournament will be held May 20-23 and will be the first special event held in the ballpark, which is located in the Arena District, adjacent to Nationwide Arena.

Well thats one way to end the seemingly annual trip to Ann Arbor for the tournament. I remember hearing rumblings in The Dispatch about the possibility of this happening. Now that it is a reality, its quite a shock. Thoughts/opinions on the move by the Big Ten. Is it really fair and competitive to have a neutral site tournament, literally a jog from a potential participating campus?

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