Big Ten MBB tournament moved from Chicago to Indianapolis originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The Big Ten Conference is moving its 2021 men's basketball tournament from Chicago to Indianapolis next month to help with logistics regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
The men's tournament will join the same city that the women's tournament will be held. Games and the championship will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the Indianapolis Colts from March 10-14.
Relocation came as a result of prioritizing the health and safety of student-athletes.
"The decision to relocate the tournament to Indianapolis was based on multiple factors," the conference's statement said. "First and foremost was the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, officials and conference constituents. Hosting both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in the same city allows for cohesive testing and medical protocols for both events, as well as centralized accommodations surrounding the competition venues."
Indianapolis is also the home of the entire 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. For the first time ever, one city will host all 68 teams and the 67 games that will be played in a three-week span.
This move should provide the Big Ten men's programs the opportunity to limit their travel and potential exposure to the virus. The NCAA created several procedures and protocols to ensure there is as little chance for the virus to be spread while the teams are in Indianapolis and the surrounding communities of Indiana. One of those is requiring schools to have seven consecutive days of negative tests before their first game. For most schools that will be March 19 and 20.
By arriving to Indianapolis early - which many conferences and programs are considering that don't have their conference tournament the week before Selection Sunday - they maximize their time of having players be able to play even if there is a positive test.
The conference also announced that Chicago and the United Center will receive the 2023 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.