Champaign Council Approves Tournament Bid
By Jim Meadows
Champaign City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to pledge $50,000 a year for five years, if the IHSA moves the state boys' high school basketball tournament back to the State Farm Center.
Savoy and Rantoul have already committed to contributing smaller amounts, but Urbana is uncertain. The Urbana City Council has directed city staff to study a possible contribution. But Mayor Laurel Prussing says her city can't afford it, due to the loss of property tax revenue previously paid by Carle Hospital.
Champaign Mayor Don Gerard says he sympathizes with Urbana's financial difficulties, but cited the economic benefits if Champaign-Urbana wins back the tournament in 2016.
Peoria has hosted the state boys' high basketball tournament since 1996, after Champaign-Urbana was the host for 77 years before that.