Champaign will once again be home to the IHSA boys basketball championships.
The IHSA Board of Directors voted today to award the championships to Champaign. The event will be hosted at the State Farm Center, and marks a return to tradition.
“We are ecstatic to welcome the IHSA Boys State Basketball Tournament back to its original home at the University of Illinois,” exclaims 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.”
The Civic Center in Peoria has hosted the tournament since 1996. It was moved there after 77 years of being hosted in Champaign.
The boys semifinals and title games for all four classes will be held on one weekend. It is scheduled to take place on March 11-13, 2021. Under the new format, all four classes will play title games on the same Saturday.
From the news release:
“The bid focused on the student-athlete experience at the State Farm Center as a superior competitive environment. Through state-of-the-art technology to create an atmosphere worthy of a championship, competing teams will receive the experience of a lifetime. The tournament also provides fans with opportunities to engage further in the history of IHSA Basketball through an unique exhibit, to immerse themselves in the latest technology with the TechHub, to enjoy interactive play through activity areas hosted by chambanamoms.com and to provide students and families the opportunity to take part in an academic fair to not only learn about possibilities with the University of Illinois, but also colleges across the country.”
Individuals interested in becoming new state final season ticket holders can submit their info online at https://fightingillini.com/
The decision was supposed to have been made on April 21, but due to the stay-at-home orders in the state, pushed back the vote to today in hopes of meeting in person.
Champaign and Peoria are the only cities that sent proposals to the Illinois High School Association to host the boys basketball state finals.