The Big Ten’s expansion to 12 teams will impact more than just college sports. It’s affecting the location of the IHSA Football Championship Game.
Starting in 2013 the game will be shifted from the University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium during every odd year to accommodate an additional Big Ten home game for the Illini.
Since 1999, the IHSA Football Championships have been held on Thanksgiving weekend at Memorial Stadium.
“We are certainly disappointed, but very understanding,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman in a statement. “The University of Illinois has given us a world-class facility in Memorial Stadium to contest our state finals and the entire Champaign-Urbana community has offered a first-class atmosphere for the competing schools and fans.”
Before 1999 the Championship games were held at at Hancock Stadium on the Illinois State University campus in Normal, those games began in 1974. A scheduling conflict with an Illinois State home game led to the move.
“We look forward to returning the IHSA Football State Finals to Memorial Stadium every other year,”Hickman said, “and will begin to investigate other potential sites to host the finals in the years that the University of Illinois is unable to host.”