IHSA State Girls Basketball To Remain at Illinois State University’s CEFCU Arena Through 2029

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The Illinois High School Association (IHSA), Illinois State University (ISU), and the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau announced on June 18, 2024, 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 IHSA 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.

“We are honored that the Illinois High School Association has given us the opportunity to continue to host the prestigious IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals,” said BNACVB President and CEO Crystal Howard. “We appreciate the great working relationship we have with the Illinois High School Association and look forward to welcoming the athletes, students, and fans. The economic impact this event has on our community is considerable and we will make every effort to give our visitors a great State Finals experience.”

In 2021-22, the IHSA altered the state final format and now crowns state champions in all four classes on a single-weekend (Thursday, Friday, Saturday). In June 2024, the IHSA Board approved time and game order schedule changes to the state tourney that will go into effect in 2025.

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