IHSA boys basketball state tourney to remain in Champaign through 2029

The Illinois High School Association’s boys basketball state tournament is staying in Champaign-Urbana through the 2029 season.

The IHSA Board of Directors on Thursday announced the hosting contract extension for the State Farm Center on the University of Illinois campus.

“The IHSA is thrilled for America’s Original March Madness to remain in Champaign-Urbana for the foreseeable future,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson.

The contract extension is for five years and includes the 2024-25, 2025-26, 2026-27, 2027-28, and 2028-29 state tournaments.

“We are honored to continue as host of the boys basketball state finals on the University of Illinois campus,” said University of Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman.

The IHSA boys basketball state finals debuted on the University of Illinois campus in 1919 and were played in the State Farm Center (then the Assembly Hall) from 1963 to 1995, before returning in 2022. The contract extension was a joint proposal from the University of Illinois, the Fighting Illini athletic department, State Farm Center, Visit Champaign County, and the Champaign-Urbana communities.

The State Farm Center also serves as the host of IHSA boys individual wrestling state finals each February.

The IHSA Board of Directors also has asked the IHSA staff to negotiate a contract extension for the girls basketball state finals at CEFCU Arena on the Illinois State University campus in Bloomington-Normal.

“CEFCU Arena and the Illinois State University campus is the only home the IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals have ever known, and it is our intention to extend that agreement through 2029 as well,” Anderson said.

The IHSA will maintain the three-day format (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) that was adopted before the 2022 state tourney. The daily game and time schedule is being reviewed by the IHSA Basketball Advisory Committee and will be finalized at the IHSA Board of Directors meeting in June.

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