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updated: 4/29/2013 2:42 PM

U of I sells Assembly Hall naming rights

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By Daily Herald News Services

CHAMPAIGN -- The iconic Assembly Hall basketball arena has a new name, and the University of Illinois has a new partner to back its athletic programs.

As part of a 30-year, $60 million agreement, Illini officials have joined with State Farm to rename the arena the State Farm Center. The building is undergoing a major renovation project that is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2016.

"We are extremely proud to announce this relationship with State Farm," Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas said Monday. "State Farm has been an outstanding partner for the University of Illinois for more than two decades, and this agreement will carry that partnership forward for at least three more. The Assembly Hall is one of the most recognizable structures in the nation and, at 50 years of age, has served the UI campus, community and Central Illinois very well. This agreement will ensure State Farm Center will serve those same constituents, and even more, for many years to come."

"From the very early stages of this project, it was clearly apparent that naming rights for the building would play a major part in the funding model," Thomas said. "This agreement complements support from campus and our students while supplementing support from the community."

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