Big 12 announces 'extension' into Mexico, including potential bowl game

Kansas and Houston will meet in basketball in Mexico City and a bowl game is in the works

The Big 12
The Big 12's new bowl game will start after the 2026 regular season, and will be just the second international bowl game on the schedule. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) (Ron Jenkins via Getty Images)

The Big 12 conference will soon have a presence in Mexico, and it could include a college football bowl game.

The Big 12 announced Thursday morning that it has established "Big 12 Mexico" with confirmed men's and women's basketball games, as well as exhibitions in baseball and women's soccer, being held in Mexico. On top of that, the conference says it will "explore establishing a bowl game" that would be held in Monterrey beginning in 2026.

The Big 12's first events in Mexico will feature matchups between Kansas and Houston in both men's and women's basketball. Those meetings are scheduled for December 2024 at Arena CDMX in Mexico City. From there, women's soccer and baseball teams will compete in exhibitions against local clubs.

On the football side, Sports Illustrated reported last month that Estadio BBVA is the potential host stadium in Monterrey. The stadium, which is is home to C.F. Monterrey in La Liga MX, holds 53,000 fans and is already set to be a World Cup site in 2026.

Should the bowl game come to fruition, it would be the first ever held in Mexico and the second active bowl game held outside the United States. The Bahamas Bowl is held each year in Nassau. Previously, the International Bowl was held in Toronto and there was also the Bacardi Bowl in Cuba.

"Mexico is a natural extension to the Big 12 footprint, and I’m thrilled to introduce Big 12 Mexico as the conference’s first-ever international presence,” Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said. "Through Big 12 Mexico, our student-athletes will have the opportunity to compete in an international setting, and our conference will have the chance to showcase our brand across Mexico."

As it looks to establish footing in Mexico, the Big 12 said Fox and ESPN will "help seed the Big 12 product across Mexico and Spanish-speaking communities" via ESPN Deportes, ESPN Mexico and Fox Deportes by airing select football and basketball games. The conference is also looking to identify a Spanish radio broadcast for its future football and basketball championships.

The Big 12 is set to add BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF as members on July 1 before Oklahoma and Texas depart for the SEC in 2024.