Park Ridge, Ill. –- The Big Ten Conference, Huntington Park and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission announced today that Columbus, Ohio, will be home to the Big Ten Baseball Tournament for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Big Ten played its first neutral-site tournament since 1994 at Columbus’ Huntington Park in 2009 and will return to the ballpark in 2011 and 2012. Due to a facility conflict, the 2010 tournament will be held at Ohio State’s Bill Davis Stadium.
“The Big Ten Conference is excited to return to the city of Columbus for its upcoming baseball tournaments,” Big Ten Conference Commissioner James E. Delany said. “Last year’s event provided a fantastic experience for our coaches, student-athletes and fans, and we look forward to growing the event in the next three years.”
“We are thrilled that Columbus, Bill Davis Stadium and Huntington Park will host the Big Ten Baseball Tournament through 2012,” Greater Columbus Sports Commission Executive Director Linda Shetina Logan said. “Our community thanks the Big Ten Conference, its schools and coaches for making this commitment to Columbus, and we will work to build an atmosphere for this tournament similar to the College World Series.”
The 2009 Big Ten Baseball Tournament drew more than 12,000 fans, marking the tournament’s highest total attendance in the past decade. Indiana took home the program’s second tournament title, earning the Big Ten’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
“We were proud to host the Big Ten Baseball Tournament in 2009 and look forward to its return to Huntington Park in 2011 and 2012,” said Columbus Clippers General Manager Ken Schnacke, who also manages Huntington Park. “And we look forward to partnering with the Big Ten and the Columbus Sports Commission to grow the tournament every year.”
Prior to 2009, the Big Ten Baseball Tournament had been played at the site of the regular-season champion or the champion from a pre-selected division since its inception in 1981, with the exception of 1993 and 1994, when the tournament was held in Battle Creek, Mich. From 1981-99, the tournament field consisted of the conference’s top four teams. In 2000, the field expanded to include six squads. The Big Ten Baseball Tournament is a double-elimination event with the top two seeds earning first-round byes.
The Big Ten Conference is an association of 11 world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in student-athletes’ lives and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. Big Ten universities provide in excess of $100 million in athletic scholarship aid to more than 8,500 men and women student-athletes who compete for 25 championships, 12 for men and 13 for women. Conference institutions sponsor broad-based athletic programs with more than 270 teams. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.
The Greater Columbus Sports Commission was founded in June 2002 to attract professional, amateur, collegiate and youth sporting events to Columbus. Since its inception, the Sports Commission has attracted more than 90 events that have generated more than $95 million in visitor spending. For more information, visit www.ColumbusSports.org.