News Local/State

U of I Approves Arena Deal with State Farm


University of Illinois trustees have signed off on the deal that will change the name of the Assembly Hall arena in Champaign to the State Farm Center in exchange for $60 million from the company.

The university announced the deal in late April. The trustees' vote Wednesday in Chicago was the final approval.

Bloomington-based State Farm Insurance Co. will pay the money over 30 years.

The change comes as the university begins a $165 million renovation project. Luxury boxes, air conditioning and other features will be added to the 50-year-old arena.

Illinois' arena is the second in the Big Ten to sell its naming rights. Pinnacle Bank purchased the naming rights to the University of Nebraska's arena for $11.2 million over 25 years.