(WTVO/WQRF) — The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Boys Basketball State Finals are returning to the State Farm Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus for the next three seasons.
The IHSA board of directors voted to make the move during their June meeting on Monday. The tournament was held in Peoria since 1996. Before that, it took place in Champaign from 1919 to 1995.
“We see this as the passing of the torch from Peoria to Champaign-Urbana,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in a press release. “It is bittersweet because there is incredible passion for high school basketball within these two communities, and both have done so much to elevate the state final experience as hosts. The State Farm Center is one of the best arenas in the country, and we are excited to crown state champions there once again.”
Anderson added that the timing felt right with the tournament format changing next year. Instead of playing over two weekends, the IHSA announced they will have all four classes play throughout three days (March 11-13, 2021/March 10-12, 2022/March 9-11, 2023). The four championship games will take place on Saturday.
While the boys will play in a different location, the Girls State Finals stays in Bloomington-Normal. The IHSA board of directors voted to have it continue at Illinois State’s Redbird Arena. The tournament has taken place at the arena since 1992 and will remain there for the next three years.