WCIA — The IHSA boys’ state basketball tournament will either be played in Champaign or Peoria next year. Those were the only two cities to put in bids to host the event, the IHSA board announced on Thursday following its monthly meeting. Peoria also placed a separate bid to host both the boys’ and girls’ state tournaments at Carver Arena.
“We are humbled and appreciative that these three communities continue to see tremendous value in hosting our prestigious state tournaments,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in a statement. “The IHSA has longstanding ties to all three communities through several State Final Tournaments, including America’s Original March Madness. We know that there are great people behind each, who would put on a first-class experience for student-athletes, coaches and fans alike. Our goal is to review the bids and make site visits in the coming months, followed by a recommendation to our Board of Directors to vote at their meeting on April 21, 2020.”
State Farm Center in Champaign is looking to get the event back for the first time since 1995, after serving as home to the tournament for 77 years. Peoria’s Carver Arena has held the rights to host since 1996. The new three-year contract will start in 2021, along with a format change to the state tournament. Both the boys’ and girls’ state finals will be played over two weekends, instead of four. All classes for each gender will be on the same weekend, in a three-day format.
The IHSA board is expected to announce its decision on Apr. 21.