Big 12 mulling Monterrey as site of 1st Mexico-based bowl game

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Big 12 conference is exploring starting a bowl game in Monterrey, Mexico, as a linchpin of the league's push into the country, sources told ESPN on Wednesday. The game would begin in the postseason following the 2026 season and has been targeted for Monterrey, the sources said.

Along with the plans for the postseason bowl game, the Big 12 also plans to hold other sports in Mexico as part of a greater strategy in the country. The men's and women's basketball teams from both Kansas and Houston have agreed to play each other in a regular-season game in Mexico City in December 2024, sources told ESPN.

According to the sources, Big 12 teams are also expected to play exhibition games against local teams in both women's soccer and baseball. The bowl game is expected to be the first postseason one in Mexico between two American college football teams.

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark discussed the Mexico strategy at Big 12 meetings in West Virginia last week. According to sources, he expressed to the league's leadership that the Mexico initiative will help deliver the league a natural extension into a local footprint in Mexico and give Big 12 athletes the experience in competing in another country.

The bowl game in Monterrey would be the second postseason one currently held outside the United States, joining the Bahamas Bowl in Nassau. Historically, there's been others, including the now-defunct International Bowl in Toronto that held its final game in 2010. The Bacardi Bowl was also played in Havana, Cuba, periodically over the previous century.

The league is still exploring business partners and a league pairing for the bowl game.

The Big 12's Mexico initiative continues a pattern of the league being proactive in Yormark's first year as commissioner. He brokered a six-year television extension with ESPN and Fox that's given the league stability and negotiated the early exit of Oklahoma and Texas.