Domed Stadiums Could Host Big Ten's Winter Football

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Ohio State University head football Ryan Day has been a vocal proponent of a Big Ten Conference football season starting in early January, rather than one that starts in the spring.

The later the season, the less time there would be between that and the regular fall season and the more likely star OSU players would be willing to take the field. The NFL draft is scheduled for April, and it’s highly probable that top pro prospects would elect to prepare for the draft than play a spring college season.

But how would playing football in January in the Midwest actually work?

As reported by The Columbus Dispatch, the Big Ten is considering several domed stadiums as potential host sites for a winter 2021 football season. 

Amanda Babb, president of the Ohio State football parents group, said in an interview Wednesday that she had heard that indoor stadiums in Indianapolis, St. Louis, Detroit, Minneapolis and possibly even Syracuse, N.Y., were under consideration. OSU athletic director Gene Smith confirmed that those sites "and others" were under consideration, but didn't elaborate.

On Aug. 19, eight days after the Big Ten announced it was postponing fall 2020 sports through the end of the year due to concerns about coronavirus spread, conference commissioner Kevin Warren said a task force for a winter/spring season would be formed.

In the meantime, Warren has been criticized for relying on the opinion of university presidents over athletic directors in making the Big Ten the first Power 5 conference to cancel fall football. Only one other conference, the Pac-12, followed that lead.

As of Thursday, parents groups representing 11 of the Big Ten's 14 member football programs, coalesced around an open letter to Warren, demanding more transparency and accountability in all planning moving forward.

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