Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Although Big 12 Delays Vote, Dome Still Site for Football Finale

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Although Big 12 Delays Vote, Dome Still Site for Football Finale

Article excerpt

It's unofficially official.

The new Big 12 Conference will hold a football championship game. And the kickoff event will be Dec. 7, 1996, in the Trans World Dome.

The chief executive officers of the Big 12 schools unofficially approved those proposals here Friday.

"We're moving ahead with the playoff," Mizzou Chancellor Charles Kiesler said. "I don't think St. Louis is in jeopardy. We asked for some more information, some better financial numbers.

"So that decision will be delayed for a week or so. But we expect it to be St. Louis. Everybody is pleased with St. Louis."

Steve Hatchell, the Big 12 commissioner, said flatly, "Yeah, we'll do St. Louis. Definitely."

The CEOs also asked for more information on a home for the Big 12 headquarters. Kansas City and Dallas are the finalists, with Colorado Springs lurking as a compromise tiebreaker. A decision is expected in six to eight weeks, Kiesler said.

A vote on tougher admission standards for Big 12 athletes made progress. Hatchell said a decision is unlikely before May.

The football playoff game will match the winner of the North Division (Mizzou, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska) against the champion of the South (Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State).

The game is expected to lure 30,000 visitors who would spend an estimated $18 million over three days. St. Louis beat out Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio for the inaugural event.

The Big 12 CEOs want more specifics about the St. Louis bid so it can be used as a base for future bids.

"It's our expectation to rotate that game," Kiesler said. "We want the athletic directors to start thinking about that. We need better comparative information.

"We need to be establishing a precedent of how we're going to go about it. And as soon as we get this settled away, we very quickly want to start looking ahead to next year and the year after."

The rotation is not a slap at St. Louis. The new league wants to promote itself within its boundaries. …

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