The Big 12 Conference’s championship game will remain at AT&T Stadium in Arlington through the 2025 season.
Big 12, Dallas Cowboys Extend Football Championship Agreement Through 2025 🏆 #Big12FB
— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) August 3, 2022
The contract extension announced Wednesday means the first nine games since the return of the Big 12’s championship game in 2017 will all have taken place at AT&T Stadium. The stadium also hosted the Big 12 title game in 2009 and 2010, but the conference did not have a championship game from 2011-16 after realignment reduced the league to 10 teams.
The conference brought the title game back despite still having only 10 members, believing that an extra game would help get the conference champion into the College Football Playoff.
The Big 12 is set to include 14 members for two seasons, beginning in the 2023-24 season with the additions of Cincinnati, Houston, BYU, and UCF. Texas and Oklahoma are set to leave for the Southeastern Conference (SEC) after the 2024-25 season, but there is a possibility they could leave earlier.
The Big 12 could also add more members in the future, given the uncertainty surrounding the Pac-12 conference following the defections of Southern California and UCLA to the Big Ten. Those schools are set to make the switch in 2024.
The extension announcement with AT&T Stadium comes during new Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark’s first official week on the job.
“We are pleased to extend our partnership with the Dallas Cowboys for another two years, and to continue holding our football championship in one of the world’s finest stadiums,” said Big 12 Yormark. “The climate-controlled environment along with nearby hotels and the Texas Live! entertainment district provide our guests a best-in-class football experience.”
Excluding 2020 when COVID attendance limitations were in place, the previous six Big 12 title games at the 80,000-seat AT&T Stadium had an average attendance of 72,199, with five of the games decided by a touchdown or less, including each of the last three.
“We have had an incredible partnership with the Big 12 Conference, so we are excited for the opportunity to host their football championship through 2025,” said Stephen Jones, chief operating officer of the Dallas Cowboys. “There has been a lot of change in college sports, but one thing will always remain, and that is, the atmosphere of college football when the conference championship is on the line…we are grateful to play a part in that experience for players and fans alike.”