If you're a Big Ten fan living in Big Ten Country, bowl games usually don't come with a home-field advantage.
Only two bowl games are currently played inside the admittedly expanding borders of Big Ten Country: the one at Ford Field in Detroit, most recently known as the Quick Lane Bowl, and the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York.
But that's it. Weather plays a big factor, of course. Who wants to go to a Midwestern city covered in ice and snow in late December when you could go to Florida or Southern California?
But Minneapolis, a major Midwestern city that's actually home to a Big Ten campus, is looking to change that. Not only do the Twin Cities want to bring a bowl game to Big Ten Country, they want to bring the biggest of the bowl games, the College Football Playoff national championship game, to Big Ten Country.
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Minneapolis announced Tuesday that it is launching a bid to host the 2020 College Football Playoff national championship game. The game wouldn't be played outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium, the home of the Golden Gophers, but rather at the new — and currently under-construction — home of the Minnesota Vikings.
That stadium is already slated to host the 2018 Super Bowl and the 2019 Final Four. Could the 2020 national title game be next?
It's status as an indoor venue certainly helps, as Minnesota in January has to be one of the least-desirable travel destinations in the country. But Midwestern cities have proved to be excellent hosts for big-time sporting events. Indianapolis, which announced it won't be bidding for an upcoming national title game, plays annual host to the Big Ten Championship Game and just wrapped up a highly lauded staging of the Final Four last month. Indy has hosted a Super Bowl, proving its worth as a big-time winter football venue right in the middle of the polar vortex-plagued Midwest. Minneapolis and Detroit have previously hosted Super Bowls, too. Chicago just concluded its first hosting of the NFL Draft in 50 years and will host an NCAA tournament regional next year. Indy and Chicago also trade off hosting duties for the Big Ten men's basketball tournament.
Now Minneapolis is trying to get in on the action, and a gleaming new stadium ought to help.
“We bid for these super-sensational events because they provide jobs, because they bring people from all over the country, in fact all over the world to the stadium to tout the virtues of living in Minneapolis, even in January,” Minnesota governor Mark Dayton said at the announcement, his quote published by the Star Tribune. “I’m very optimistic that we can make a competitive bid.”
The Star Tribune points out that cities bidding in the College Football Playoff's "bidding cycle" means they're in the running for the championship games in 2018, 2019 and 2020. But Minneapolis specified that it's targeting just that 2020 game. The report also lists Atlanta, Jacksonville, Fla., Miami, San Antonio and Santa Clara, Calif., as other cities expected to bid.
And the city is getting some help from its current college football superstar:
— Minnesota Football (@GopherFootball) May 5, 2015
Kill has done nothing but win in the past couple seasons, so perhaps his involvement will bring the Twin Cities some good fortune.