According to Adam Rittenberg, ESPN's Big Ten columnist, Mark Murphy and the Packers' front office are "very interested" in hosting the Big Ten football Championship Game. Reportedly, Lambeau is one of several potential candidates for the game, including Soldier Field, Lucas Oil Stadium, Ford Field, and Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Imagine the most historic college football conference holding its biggest game every year in the most historic stadium in the country. It gives me shivers just thinking about it.
I've been floating the idea of a Big Ten title game at Lambeau around with a number of friends and family since the conference's expansion was confirmed. Then, a few weeks ago, I spoke to a few Wisconsin Badgers assistant coaches and area high school football coaches at a local bar in Madison after a camp held at Camp Randall Stadium, and approached some of them with the idea. At the time, every one of them thought that it was an interesting idea, given the history of and reverence given to Lambeau, but that it would never happen for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost among these is the widely-held thought that Green Bay doesn't have the infrastructure in hotels and roads and such to host two visiting teams and their fans. This is a legitimate argument and the one that I think has the most merit. If anyone from Brown County has a clue whether this would be feasible with the city as it currently exists, please comment below. However, the demand would still be significantly less than any demand associated with a proposed Super Bowl in Lambeau, which was talked about earlier in the off-season. I honestly don't know how many hotel rooms Green Bay has and if it could handle 75,000 fans from out of town.
But this brings me to a strong argument for Lambeau. As Rittenberg noted, it has significantly more seating than Soldier Field, Ford Field, or Lucas Oil, and has virtually the same capacity as Cleveland. For a conference that has three stadiums over 100,000 in capacity (Michigan Stadium, Penn State's Beaver Stadium, and Ohio Stadium) and will have three more over 75,000 after expansion (Nebraska's Memorial Stadium, Camp Randall Stadium, and Spartan Stadium), I find it difficult to believe that the conference would choose a venue with under 70,000 seats to host this game every year.
This brings me to a final idea. Rotate the game among a few different venues. To my knowledge, this would be the first time that a conference would do such a thing, but I believe that this could be an effective solution. First, the history of Lambeau should be included in the rotation. Then add a central location and a modern facility like Lucas Oil. Finally, for a three-year cycle, Use Soldier Field, another historic landmark, to add the major metropolitan area in the Midwest to the equation. I believe this would satisfy fans and players alike.
(But let's face it. I REALLY want to see this game in Green Bay every year.)