IHSA says state girls basketball to remain in Normal through 2029

The Illinois High School Association, Illinois State University and the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau announced that they have reached a five-year contract extension for the IHSA girls basketball state finals to remain at CEFCU Arena on the ISU campus in Normal through the 2029 state tournament.

“CEFCU Arena feels like home for the IHSA girls basketball state finals, so we are excited to be able to announce an extension that pushes us closer to 40 years of the state tourney being held on the ISU campus,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “CEFCU Arena is beautiful, and we have an incredible support from the ISU staff and community volunteers. Their passion and professionalism make for an unforgettable experience for our student-athletes, coaches, and fans.”

Horton Fieldhouse on the ISU campus hosted the inaugural girls basketball state finals in 1977. The tourney then moved to Champaign for a little over a decade, before returning to CEFCU Arena in 1992, where it has remained ever since.

“Illinois State University values the long-standing relationship between ISU, the IHSA and the Bloomington/Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau,” said ISU Interim Director of Athletics Jeri Mullins Beggs. “We're proud that the IHSA girls basketball tournament is synonymous with Illinois State University. We look forward to providing a first-class experience to all the teams and their fans.”

Through the years, future stars like Candace Parker, Tamika Catchings, and NFHS Hall of Fame coach Dorothy Gaters won IHSA state titles competing in CEFCU Arena as a part of America’s Original March Madness.

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