By Wendell Barnhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The news on Friday from the Big 12 Conference spring meetings was the awarding of championship sites for the next three years. What wasn't new is the location of those sites.
While the issues involving conference expansion and realignment dominated a 35-minute news conference that wrapped up the meetings, the awarding of championship sites along with the amount of revenue distributed to Big 12 member schools was also important.
For 2011, 2012 and 2013, the Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship game will be held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The title game was played there last year and had been previously scheduled to be played there in 2010. That means that Cowboys Stadium will host the championship game five consecutive seasons - the longest streak in league history.
"The Cowboys have a world-class facility in our area of the country and we should use it as often as we can," Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said. "We negotiated a very favorable contract with the Cowboys last year. It produced more revenue."
While the Big 12 leadership decided to remain in the same cities that hosted the championship events for the 2010-11 season, Beebe said that doesn't mean the Conference has decided to "anchor" its championships in those cities.
"We have not decided to anchor the championship games in any of these sports," he said. "There will be a concerted effort to build a fan base that will come to the games no matter who is playing. The Southeastern Conference has that situation in Atlanta, where it has 30,000 to 40,000 fans who will be at their football championship game no matter which teams are playing.".
The Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship will be held at Kansas City's Sprint Center in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Kansas City hosted the tournament in 2010 and will again in 2011 - again marking another five-year run for an event in one city.
The Phillips 66 Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship will be held in Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium in 2012 and 2013. Big 12 women's administrators decided to hold off awarding the 2014 tournament.
"Our senior women administrators and coaches want to explore the possibility of another place, perhaps a smaller market, in our footprint that would embrace women's basketball," Beebe said. "The idea might be to find a place where there would be a few thousand fans who would come to the event no matter which teams are playing.
"That could mean, obviously, separating the women's tournament from the men's tournament. There are a lot of positives with having the women's championship held at the same time and in the same city as the men's championship. But there are some other things they want to fully explore."
Also, there is a possibility the NCAA could change the dates for the women's tournament. So, for 2014, the Big 12 preferred to keep its options open regarding the Big 12 women's tournament location.
The Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship returns to Oklahoma City in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Oklahoma City has hosted the event 12 out of 14 years.
Revenue sharing announced
The Big 12 announced that it will distribute a record $139 million in revenue to its member schools. Last year, the Big 12 distributed $130 million - and that was with an additional $4.5 million thanks to the Conference placing a second team in the Bowl Championship Series.
The Big 12's revenue distribution has increased each of the Conference's 14 seasons but one. The revenue distributed in 2005 was $105.6 million and it dropped to $103.1 million in 2006. Since the Big 12 first crossed the $100 million barrier in 2004, the Conference's revenue has increased by an average of $5.4 million each year.
Big 12 Conference Annual Revenue Distribution
The year-by-year revenue distributed to Big 12 Conference member schools:
Year Revenue distributed
2010 $139 million
2009 $130 million
2008 $113.5 million
2007 $106 million
2006 $103.1 million
2005 $105.6 million
2004 $101 million
2003 $89 million
2002 $83.5 million
2001 $78 million
2000 $72 million
1999 $64 million
1998 $58 million
1997 $53.6 million
TOTAL $1.296 billion
Big 12 Site History
A look at the cities that have hosted Big 12 football, men's and women's basketball and baseball championships since the Conference began competition in 1996.
St. Louis: 1996, 1998.
Kansas City: 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008.
San Antonio: 1997, 1999, 2007.
Irving, Texas: 2001.
Houston: 2002, 2005,
Arlington, Texas: 2009.
Men's and Women's Basketball Championship
Kansas City: 1997-2002; 2005, 2008, 2010.
Dallas: 2003, 2004, 2006.
Oklahoma City: 2007, 2009.
Oklahoma City: 1997-2001; 2003; 2005-2010.
Arlington, Texas: 2002, 2004.