On July 1, the University of Maryland and Rutgers will officially become members of the Big Ten conference.
The Big Ten announced April 10 that it would be opening offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City to better serve the conference's members. These new offices could allow Big Ten officials the opportunity to take advantage of the markets, the money and the political clout that adding Maryland and Rutgers brings them.
The main headquarters for the Big Ten will remain in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill., but having a presence in both D.C. and New York was the next logical business step for one of the nation's most successful intercollegiate athletic conferences.
"We are excited to be on the East Coast and to open a second office in New York City," Big Ten commissioner James E. Delany said. "With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, we have become a conference with a significant presence in two regions of the country. While the space will be utilized full time by Big Ten staff, it will also be open to our member institutions conducting business in the city."
The Big Ten's New York office will be located at 900 Third Ave., and plans are for it to be ready for operations beginning June 1. The location is right down the street from Madison Avenue and top ad agencies, and it's a short cab ride from major television networks, which is something that will come in handy when its broadcast, cable and digital media rights deal comes up for bid after the 2015 season.
The D.C. headquarters are located in the Fairchild Building, 499 S. Capitol St. SW, and is already operational. The office is about a 10-minute walk from the U.S. Capitol, where delegations from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Wisconsin will be making, in many cases, their first trips to College Park to follow their respective teams.
Some of Maryland's biggest football games will likely be played at either FedEx Field or M&T Bank Stadium to accommodate the larger crowds.
"The Big Ten has been a terrific partner as we have prepared to join the conference," University of Maryland president Wallace D. Loh said. "The establishment of offices on the East Coast is just another example of their ongoing outreach efforts. The University of Maryland draws students from across the country and the world, but the region between College Park and New York City is especially important to us. We're glad that the Big Ten will have an expanded presence on the East Coast."
The Big Ten men's basketball championship tournament has been played in Chicago and Indianapolis on a rotating basis. In 2016, the event will be held in Indianapolis, but after that date, the location is expected to head east. A New York venue and D.C.'s Verizon Center could enter the rotation along with Chicago and Indianapolis.
Once the Big Ten includes Maryland and Rutgers, it will have a combined enrollment of more than 520,000 total students.
The 14 member universities field more than 350 teams participating in 43 different sports, totaling nearly 9,500 student-athletes. That leads to a nearly coast-to-coast demand for the Big Ten Network.
Comcast and other large cable companies around the mid-Atlantic as well as New Jersey and New York will be adding the channel to their digital starter package. Doing so will bring an influx of cash to the network while opening up more major markets for the Big Ten to reach. That means better access to the 5.7 million living Big Ten alumni for fundraising and recruiting potential college students to want to attend Big Ten institutions.
Another mid-Atlantic team joining the Big Ten is the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse program, which will keep its rivalry with Maryland going. The Blue Jays could also benefit from the exposure they will get from the Big Ten Network.
In terms of Big Ten academics, both Maryland and Rutgers are members of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, an academic consortium of Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago. In 2012, Big Ten institutions produced more than $9.5 billion in research expenditures.