April 19, 2012
Park Ridge, Ill. - With men's ice hockey set to become an official Big Ten sport with the 2013-14 academic year, the conference office announced today that the Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournaments will be held at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minn., in 2014 and 2016, and at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., in 2015 and 2017.
The inaugural Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament will be held March 20-22, 2014, at Xcel Energy Center. The tournament moves to Joe Louis Arena the following year and will be held March 19-21, 2015, and March 16-18, 2017, in Detroit. The 2016 event will return to Saint Paul and be held March 17-19. Tickets for the 2014 Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament in Saint Paul are expected to go on sale in the summer of 2013.
The tournament will feature all six teams - Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin - in a single-elimination format. Thursday's quarterfinals will feature the No. 3 seed facing the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed battling the No. 5 seed. The top two seeds will open tournament play in the Friday semifinals, with the No. 1 seed against either the No. 4 or 5 seed and the No. 2 seed facing the No. 3 or 6 seed. The championship game will be held on Saturday.
In June of 2011, the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors established men's ice hockey as an official conference sport beginning with the 2013-14 academic year, including the institution of the Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, with the winner earning the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship, and a 20-game conference schedule with each team playing the other five schools four times.
The broad-based athletic programs of the 12 Big Ten institutions sponsor 298 teams competing for championships in 25 official conference sports, 12 for men and 13 for women. Big Ten universities provide in excess of $120 million in athletic scholarship aid to more than 9,500 men and women student-athletes. The last official conference sport established by the Big Ten was women's rowing in the 1999-2000 academic year.
About Xcel Energy Center
Regarded as one of the finest arenas in the world, Xcel Energy Center is home to the NHL's Minnesota Wild, the NLL's Minnesota Swarm and a multitude of premier sports and entertainment events annually. The one-of-a-kind, multi-purpose facility is located in the heart of downtown Saint Paul, owned by the City of Saint Paul and managed by the Saint Paul Arena Company, an affiliate of Minnesota Sports & Entertainment. For more information, visit www.xcelenergycenter.com.
About Joe Louis Arena
Joe Louis Arena is operated by Olympia Entertainment, a Detroit-based company owned by entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch. Olympia Entertainment is one of the country's most diverse sport and entertainment companies and the largest organization of its kind in the mid-west. In addition to booking and operating Joe Louis Arena, the company owns and operates Detroit's Fox Theatre, the intimate City Theatre and books Comerica Park. Olympia Entertainment also handles business operations for the Detroit Red Wings, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League and collaborates with the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise and other Ilitch companies.
Other Ilitch companies include: Little Caesars Pizza, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, the Detroit Red Wings, Little Caesar Pizza Kits Fundraising Program, Olympia Development and Uptown Entertainment. Additionally, Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers, Inc., and Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel. To learn more about Olympia Entertainment, visit www.olympiaentertainment.com. Also follow Olympia on Twitter @OEontheGo and at facebook.com/officialolympiaentertainment.