IHSA board selects ISU’s Hancock Stadium as football state final host

Hancock Stadium hosted the inaugural IHSA Football State Finals in 1974 and hosted over 100 IHSA Football State Championship games from 1974 to 1998. (WJBC file photo)

By Neil Doyle

NORMAL – The Illinois High School Association’s Board of Directors on Wednesday selected Bloomington-Normal and Illinois State University as the new hosts for the football state finals.

The new hosting agreement will place the event at Hancock Stadium on Thanksgiving weekend for the years of 2023 to 2027.

“We appreciate all of the hosting bids that we received for the IHSA Football State Finals,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson in a news release. “Seeing the passion that these university communities have for hosting the State Finals and the amazing stadiums that each campus offers didn’t make for an easy decision. Ultimately, the first-class facilities, amazing support from Illinois State University and the Bloomington-Normal communities, and the central location proved to be the biggest factors in returning to ISU for the next five years.”

Hancock Stadium hosted the inaugural IHSA Football State Finals in 1974 and hosted over 100 IHSA Football State Championship games from 1974 to 1998.

“We’re delighted to be awarded the IHSA Football State Finals,” said Crystal Howard, President/CEO for the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (BNACVB). “Our relationship with the IHSA continues to grow, and we appreciate the faith they have in our organization and our community as an ideal host for their events.”

According to the BNACVB, approximately 25,000 fans are expected to fill Hancock Stadium and the Bloomington-Normal community for these events each year, with an annual estimated direct economic impact of over $2.15 million.

Neil Doyle can be reached at neil.doyle@cumulus.com

Blogs

Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…