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ISU's CEFCU Arena to keep IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals through 2029

Redbird Arena in Normal is home to ISU's basketball and volleyball teams, as well as the Gamma Phi Circus' spring shows.
Emily Bollinger
/
WGLT file
CEFCU Arena on the Illinois State University campus will remain the home of the IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals through 2029.

The Illinois High School Association's girls state basketball finals are staying in Normal.

The IHSA, Illinois State University, and the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau said Thursday they've reached a five-year contract extension for the IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals to remain at ISU's CEFCU Arena through 2029.

“CEFCU Arena feels like home for the IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals, so we are thrilled to announce an extension that brings us closer to celebrating nearly 40 years of hosting this incredible event on the ISU campus,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson.

“The arena is stunning, and the support we receive from ISU staff and community volunteers is unmatched. Their dedication and enthusiasm create an unforgettable experience for our student-athletes, coaches, and fans."

The inaugural IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals was held at ISU in 1977 at Horton Fieldhouse. After a stint in Champaign, the tournament made its way back to Normal in 1992, finding a permanent home at CEFCU Arena ever since.

“Illinois State University cherishes the long standing relationship with the IHSA and the Bloomington-Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau,” said ISU Interim Director of Athletics Jeri Beggs. “We take immense pride in hosting the IHSA Girls Basketball Tournament and look forward to continuing to provide a first-class experience for all the teams and their fans.”

Last spring, the Convention and Visitors Bureau said it expected around 18,000 visitors to attend the games at CEFCU Arena and visit the Bloomington-Normal community for the state finals, with an estimated direct economic impact of around $1.4 million.

Gaige Owens is a student reporting intern at WGLT. He joined the station in 2024.