Sports
1:06 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Champaign-Urbana bid to host high school basketball tournaments

Nearly 20 years after losing out to Peoria, Champaign-Urbana hopes to once again host the Illinois state high school boys basketball tournament. And a bid will be made to host the girls tournament as well.  

The University of Illinois and the group Visit Champaign County plan to submit a bid to the Illinois High School Association to host the two tournaments from 2016 through 2020.  A decision is expected next spring.

Visit Champaign County CEO Jayne DeLuce says a big plus for Champaign-Urbana’s bids will be the renovations now under way at the U of I’s State Farm Center. DeLuce says those renovations will enhance the entire tournament, both the games and related activities.

“Most important will be a very positive game atmosphere, but there’ll also be all of the amenities within the facility, that will create an awesome fan experience within the State Farm Center itself.”

Champaign-Urbana and the U of I hosted the state high school boys basketball tournament for 77 years, before Peoria won the right to host it in the 1990s. The girls tournament is currently held in Normal.