IHSA Boys State Basketball Tournament to Return to Champaign!

#1
"The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and their Board of Directors announced that the IHSA Boys State Basketball Tournament will return to the State Farm Center in Champaign for three years: March 11–13, 2021, March 10–12, 2022, and March 9–11, 2023."

"'Whenever I discuss Fighting Illini Basketball, I always mention the proud history of this program,' Illinois Men's Basketball Head Coach Brad Underwood said. 'Much of that success comes from the rich tradition of high school basketball in this state. Some of the greatest players ever to wear the orange and blue first competed on our campus as part of the IHSA state tournament. We are pleased to welcome the finals back to the University of Illinois, where dreams will come true for the countless players across the state who spend their childhood imagining playing on the court at State Farm Center. There is nothing like the thrill of competing for a state championship and the impact it has on high school teams and in their communities, and I'm excited that will once again happen here in Champaign.'"

https://fightingillini.com/news/202...etball-tournament-to-return-to-champaign.aspx
 
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#4
Fantastic news! Hopefully fans will be allowed by that time and it will be a safe environment to enjoy the tournament. I'd even consider driving down for the games even if my high school isn't playing.
 
#7
I live near Peoria. I think it probably was time to return to Champaign. However since the split to 4 classes it isn't as good of a tourney. I hope Champaign runs it well. it was exciting to play at the state school when my HS made it to the championship game.Hopefully the improvements made by Peoria in running the tourney continue.
 
#9
This is really cool.

Now people will see the continued recruiting steam we are going to get from Underwood & Staff and attribute it solely to which minor city in downstate Illinois the IHSA Tourney is played at.

Not actually salty here, just clairvoyant.
 
#10
Here's the release from the IHSA: https://www.ihsa.org/News-Media/Ann...rsity-of-illinois-in-champaign-urbana-in-2021

Some of the key highlights:
the bid includes interactive fan elements around the arena, city and campus marketing initiatives, a special in-arena area for parents with children, and 13 local hotels locking in three-year prices for fans below rack rate. The IHSA’s Wheelchair Basketball State Tournament and Special Olympics Illinois Unified Basketball Tournament will continue to be held in conjunction with the state tournament in Champaign-Urbana as well.

I bolded the part above as price gouging at the hotels was at least a portion of the reason that Champaign lost the tournament back in the mid-1990s. That along with the fact that there wasn't much to do in downtown Champaign back then and also coupled with the money from Caterpillar and other businesses in Peoria, helped the tournament head up there. My family has been going to the small school tournament since the mid-1970s though due to me being a bit younger I wasn't able to go until the 2nd year in Peoria (which would have been 1996) and I have gone every year except for one (due to just having started a then new job in Indy at the time) ever since.
 
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#13
One other thing to remember is that they changed the format for the state basketball tournament starting next year. The state tournaments for all 4 classes will be played on the same weekend (don't worry, this won't be a scheduling issue for Illinois basketball as it's typically going to be the same weekend as the B1G tournament). The schedule will look like this:

Thursday
1A/2A Semifinals in the morning and mid-afternoon; 1A/2A 3rd place games in the evening

Friday
Same as Thursday but only with 3A and 4A schools

Saturday
1A and 2A Championships in the morning and early afternoon; 3A and 4A Championships in the evening
 
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#15
Baltimore, MD
being from Peoria, feel bad for Peoria. When I was growing up in the 90s I LOVED going to the march madness experience. looked forward to it. not sure if that was still going on or not. Peoria has fallen upon tough times for sure.
 
#16
I grew up going to A games in Champaign. Moved out of State before they left Champaign for Peoria, so even though I’m from Peoria area it just has never seemed right for them to be anywhere but Champaign. Glad they have come home.
 
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#18
Went to Shelbyville games. They played last year in hall and then won it all the first year at Peoria. I personally like champaign venue netter
 
#19
being from Peoria, feel bad for Peoria. When I was growing up in the 90s I LOVED going to the march madness experience. looked forward to it. not sure if that was still going on or not. Peoria has fallen upon tough times for sure.

They still had it and it had actually expanded a bit in recent years. Still in the exhibit hall but just using more of it.

And there was actually an interesting article in the Sun-Times on Sunday that basically listed why Champaign should get it and one of the things they mentioned is how there was basically nothing to do in downtown Peoria (aside from maybe going to Big Al's :p). Most of the dining places were pretty pricey and there wasn't much to speak of in terms of bars.
 
#20
Iowa City
I live near Peoria. I think it probably was time to return to Champaign. However since the split to 4 classes it isn't as good of a tourney. I hope Champaign runs it well. it was exciting to play at the state school when my HS made it to the championship game.Hopefully the improvements made by Peoria in running the tourney continue.
Or was it just really exciting because your HS made it to the championship game? I feel like we are overhyping the importance of this being in Champaign
 
#21
I think it's a big deal. First, I think the State Farm Center is a cooler venue and will provide a better experience for the high school players and their fans. Secondly, it will only help Illinois' recruiting to have the best players in the state and their coaches on campus for the most important games, along with all the other visitors and spectators.

I used to always look forward to attending the state tournament in Champaign, even when my school's team was not in it. I remember one year I went with my friend who was a local reporter and we sat right in front of Lou Henson. We thought that was pretty cool.
Or was it just really exciting because your HS made it to the championship game? I feel like we are overhyping the importance of this being in Champaign
 
#22
One other thing to remember is that they changed the format for the state basketball tournament starting next year. The state tournaments for all 4 classes will be played on the same weekend (don't worry, this won't be a scheduling issue for Illinois basketball as it's typically going to be the same weekend as the B1G tournament). The schedule will look like this:

Thursday
1A/2A Semifinals in the morning and mid-afternoon; 1A/2A 3rd place games in the evening

Friday
Same as Thursday but only with 3A and 4A schools

Saturday
1A and 2A Championships in the morning and early afternoon; 3A and 4A Championships in the evening

That might help, but it seems to me there was something special about having 8 teams there with a chance at a title.
 
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#23
I'm happy about this news as an Illini fan, but I'm somewhat bummed as a native Peorian. Peoria is a city with "great bones" that needs some breaks in achieving a true revitalization. There have been great strides made downtown and in the Warehouse District. So, I hate to see one more draw to town being taken away. With that said, let's make the change worth it and see some true recruiting payoff over the next several years!
 
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#25
Remembering skipping school all through the 80s to go see the IHSA tourney games. Was a high point of the semester every spring. Very happy for my old hometown to have it back, at least for 3 years.
 
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