The Big Ten Tournament has been the biggest event of the conference season since its inaugural season in 1998. However, the event has moved some since its inception. The prime locations recently have been Chicago and Indianapolis. Now, there are reports that the event may be moving to ... Washington, D.C.?
Yes, the nation's capital may soon be moving to the B1G side (sorry, Star Wars reference on May The Fourth). There is little doubt that this is a move not only to shake things up, but also to help the transition for new Big Ten member Maryland and increase the conference's East Coast reputation. Whatever your opinion of the decision to move, it's hard not to see these as the primary goals.
The question obviously becomes whether this is the right or wrong move for the conference. Clearly, it would be a major disadvantage for many fanbases, especially for programs like Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska, who would have incredible distances to travel. Fun fact, according to Google Maps, Lincoln (NE) is located 1200 miles away from Washington, D.C. To put that into perspective, it's just 30 miles shorter from Lincoln to D.C. than to get to Vegas.
Great fans or not, forcing a program like Nebraska to travel 1,200 miles to attend the Big Ten Tournament just seems inherently unfair, but this is the new nature of the conference. The idea of rotating the event and giving "home" fans the opportunity to travel shorter distances is intriguing, but boy, the disadvantage to locate to a play like D.C. is definitely real. It was obviously further for Nebraska fans to travel to a Chicago or Indy, but Washington, D.C. is an entirely different animal. There's also the possibility of other "expansion" cities being added in the future as well. Moving away from the concept of a "central" city could be a risky move.
It's hard to say whether this is a positive move or not, but the fact is that it seems like it's coming.