ST LOUIS makes bid for more Big 12 title games

Wednesday, July 18th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ The Big 12 Conference football title could again be decided here as soon as 2002, with the winners of the league's North and South division playing for a Bowl Championship Series bid at the recently renamed Dome at America's Center.

St. Louis, host of the Big 12 championship football games in 1996 and 1998, filed a bid Monday to host any of the 2002 through 2005 games.

The bid was ``very similar to the one we submitted two years ago, prior to the awarding of the 1999 and 2000 games,'' said Frank Viverito, president of the St. Louis Sports Commission.

Other cities expected to bid for the games are Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio.

Viverito said St. Louis has offered the Dome at America's Center, formerly called the Trans World Dome, for ``any or all'' of the games in the four-year period.

``But they've been alternating between north and south and although I don't think their bid specs lock them into anything, I also don't know of any reason why they wouldn't keep alternating,'' Viverito said.

The first four Big 12 championships moved between the Trans World Dome and the Alamodome in San Antonio. The game last year, when eventual national champion Oklahoma beat Kansas State 27-24, was played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

The game will be played this year at Texas Stadium, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, on Dec. 1.

The conference put off picking future venues in 1999, when sites for the 2000 and 2001 games were selected, to study how the event fared in an outdoor venue. Both Arrowhead and Texas Stadium are open-air stadiums.

The conference's committee on championships will meet in August and will make recommendations to the league's athletic directors by mid-September. A decision on sites on will come late that month.