Like every Big Ten team in 2011, Indiana wants to end its regular season at Lucas Oil Stadium for the inaugural league championship game.
If so, the Hoosiers will have come full circle.
Barring a late snag, Indiana will open the 2011 season against Ball State in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil. Ball State originally was set to host the Hoosiers in Muncie but has agreed to move the game to Naptown.
From The Indianapolis Star:
BSU athletic director Tom Collins said Tuesday that the university has signed its half of a contract to move the school's season-opening game against Indiana University to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Collins said officials at Lucas Oil are expected to sign their half of the contract -- completing the deal -- this week. The game will be Sept. 3, as it was originally scheduled. There is no time set, but Collins said he prefers an evening game.
Ball State, which remains the home team and will control all the game management, is moving the contest primarily because of financial reasons. Its home stadium has a capacity of only 22,500, and Collins tells the Star that his goal is to sell 40,000 tickets for the IU game at $40 per seat.
There are few if any drawbacks here for Indiana, which can generate some additional buzz for Kevin Wilson's coaching debut at the school. The Hoosiers' attendance has been pretty decent the past two years despite poor results on the field, and I'd expect IU fans to have a strong showing in Indianapolis on Sept. 3.
This will mark the second neutral-site meeting between the Big Ten and the MAC in 2011, as Wisconsin and Northern Illinois will meet Sept. 17 at Chicago's Soldier Field. The Big Ten will host eight games against MAC teams and Penn State will travel to Temple.