OMAHA — Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany praised the conference baseball tournament Saturday, but said the 2015 tournament will be held at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Despite the fact this year’s tournament at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha has drawn more than 40,000 people, with Sunday’s championship game between Indiana and Nebraska to go, and last year’s tournament at the home of the Minnesota Twins drew about 6,000 fans total, Delany said future tournament sites are out of his hands.
“We couldn't be more pleased to be in the No. 1 place for college baseball and the turnout of Nebraska and Omaha fans," Delany said. "We were not surprised by the turnout, but it's better than we felt it would be.
“This tournament set the bar here in every way.”
Delany added that Omaha serving as an anchor for the league tourney has not been discussed.
He praised the improvement of Big Ten baseball in recent years, but league teams are still seen as outliers to teams from warm-weather states. He said recruiting changes and new stadiums — Nebraska’s Haymarket Park will be the oldest in the Big Ten after Northwestern builds its new stadium in the next two seasons — have helped.
He said the addition of Maryland (an ACC Tournament finalist) and Rutgers will strengthen the conference in baseball, too.