The Big Ten Conference announced that TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., will once again serve as the host venue for the Big Ten Baseball Tournament in 2016 and 2018 after setting record attendance numbers last season. The annual event will return to the site of the NCAA Division I Men’s College World Series from May 18-22, 2016, and May 23-27, 2018.
“We are very excited to return to TD Ameritrade Park for the 2016 and 2018 Big Ten Baseball Tournaments,” Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany said. “It was amazing to see so many passionate fans at the Big Ten Baseball Tournament this past May, and we look forward to coming back to Omaha.”
“The 2014 Big Ten Baseball Tournament far exceeded expectations,” Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority President and CEO Roger Dixon said. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host the tournament again in 2016 and 2018 and look forward to working with the Big Ten and Nebraska to build on the success.”
The Big Ten Baseball Tournament was held in Omaha for the first time in 2014 and established multiple attendance records. The attendance of 19,965 for the championship game on Sunday, May 25, ranked as the largest single-game conference tournament attendance in NCAA history. The five-day total tournament attendance of 62,020 marked the largest in the history of the event. Four days of the tournament featured attendance of more than 10,000, including Wednesday (10,400), Thursday (11,756), Saturday (12,319) and Sunday.
The Big Ten Baseball Tournament has been played annually since 1981, with a four-team field through 1999 and a six-team event from 2000-2013 before moving to its current eight-team format in 2014. Six different schools have won the Big Ten Baseball Tournament, with Minnesota leading all conference programs with nine titles. Michigan and Ohio State have each won eight conference tournaments, followed by Illinois and Indiana with four tournament crowns and Purdue with one.
The 2015 Big Ten baseball season begins in February and culminates with the Big Ten Baseball Tournament returning to Target Field in Minneapolis, the home of Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins. The site of the 2017 Big Ten Baseball Tournament will be announced at a later date.