Report: 2021 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament to Be Relocated to Indianapolis | Bleacher Report

The seating area at Bankers Life Fieldhouse is empty as media and staff mill about, Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Indianapolis, after the Big Ten Conference announced that remainder of the men's NCAA college basketball games tournament was cancelled. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The 2021 Big Ten men’s basketball tournament will change venues from the United Center in Chicago to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, according to Russ McQuaid of Fox 59. Play is expected to begin on March 10. 

The Big Ten women’s tournament is slated to begin a day earlier on March 9 at Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament will take place across Indiana the following week, using gyms in West Lafayette, Bloomington and Indianapolis in order to create more of a bubble for teams and staff participating. 

Both men’s and women’s Big Ten tournaments were held in Indianapolis last season, though the emergence of COVID-19 caused the conference to cancel men’s play after the first round. The women’s tournament was completed prior to the shutdown. Now, the city will get a chance to host the Big Ten once again, but any restrictions on attendance are still unclear. 

This marks the 11th time Indiana has hosted the Big Ten tournament, with the conference alternating annually between Chicago and Indianapolis. That streak came to an end in 2017 as the league looked to incorporate its East Coast markets by holding the event at Capitol One Arena (then known as Verizon Center) in Washington, D.C., followed by Madison Square Garden in New York City the following year. 

The conference returned to Chicago in 2019 and was set to alternate with Indianapolis until 2022. That plan has once again been altered by the pandemic.

This will be the first time Lucas Oil Stadium serves as the venue for the Big Ten Tournament.