IHSA Boys Basketball Finals Are Returning To Champaign
IHSA Boys Basketball State Finals will return to the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana beginning with the 2021 state tournament.
The Peoria Civic Center, which has hosted the boys state tournament since 1996, also submitted a bid to continuing hosting, but eventually lost out to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. The tournament had been held in Champaign-Urbana from 1919 through 1995 before moving to Peoria from 1996 until last year.
The State Farm Center is fresh off a $170 million dollar state-of-the-art renovation that was completed in 2016. The building has also been home to IHSA Individual Wrestling State Finals each winter since 1973.
The State Tournament has recently been held over the course of two weekends, but will begin a new format in 2021 that features all four classes being played over the course of three days, culminating with four state championships games on Saturday.
Among the many highlights, the bid includes interactive fan elements around the arena, city and campus marketing initiatives, a special in-arena area for parents with children, and 13 local hotels locking in three-year prices for fans below rack rate. The IHSA’s Wheelchair Basketball State Tournament and Special Olympics Illinois Unified Basketball Tournament will continue to be held in conjunction with the state tournament in Champaign-Urbana as well.
“We are ecstatic to welcome the IHSA Boys State Basketball Tournament back to its original home at the University of Illinois,” said Jayne DeLuce, President & CEO of Visit Champaign County. “Our community has evolved into a much broader vision incorporating sports, education, technology, and a place of diverse culture that will provide incredible experiences for all involved. We are ready to embrace a new tradition of welcoming teams, families, fans, officials, and media for the experience of a lifetime.”