Should Rockford Bid To Bring The IHSA Basketball Finals To Town?
The state's current agreement with Bloomington and Peoria expire in 2021.
It's been a while since the state tournament has been held north of I-88. Illinois State University has hosted the girl's state finals since 1992 and next year will mark the 25th year of the boy's tournament being held in Peoria, but that could all change.
The IHSA is currently taking bids from cities to host the two tournaments. To apply a city must have an arena that can hold 8,000 (7,000 for girls) people, the BMO Center has a capacity of 10,000, and at least 300 hotel rooms, which Rockford easily has.
Rockford should be an appealing destination for the IHSA. It's small enough so the tournament could take center stage and it's much closer to Chicago and the suburbs, making it easier for fans to make the trip.
Peoria and Bloomington have tradition on their sides but Rockford seems like a prime target for one or both of the tournaments.