— -- After a six-year absence, the Big 12 championship game will return to where it was last played -- AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The Big 12 championship game -- which will pit the top two teams in the conference standings against each other -- returns in 2017, and it will be played at the home of the Dallas Cowboys through the 2021 season, it was announced Friday.
"There is great anticipation with the return of the Big 12 Football Championship and we look forward to hosting the event in AT&T Stadium for the next five years," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. "The building is a state of the art facility and offers many amenities that will be enjoyed by our institutions and fans."
Half the conference's 10 schools are within a 4 1/2-hour drive of Arlington.
Kansas City and San Antonio also were in the running to host the game. ?AT&T Stadium hosted the last two Big 12 title games in 2009 and 2010.
Under current agreements, the Big 12 title game will be televised by Fox in odd-numbered years through 2023, and ESPN will broadcast the games in even-numbered years through 2024.
The Big 12 stopped playing a football championship game after the league shrunk to 10 members in 2011, but members recently decided to restore it.
AT&T Stadium was the site of the first College Football Playoff championship game in 2015 and annually hosts the Cotton Bowl, one of six games through which the national semifinals rotate.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.