IHSA now accepting football finals bids

The Illinois High School Association announced Wednesday it has begun accepting bids to host the state football finals in odd years beginning in 2013.

The state finals have been held at Memorial Stadium in Champaign since 1999, but the stadium will be required by the Illinois football team every other year because of a change in the Big Ten’s scheduling.

Sites specifications include being available for every other year beginning in 2013 and ending in 2021, having a minimum of 12,000 seats and artificial turf field.

The IHSA has also started accepting bids for the dance state finals. The inaugural state finals will be in 2013.

“It is always an exciting and interesting process when we seek new hosts for state final events,” IHSA executive director Marty Hickman said in a statement. “The most important part of this process is finding a venue that allows us to host a first-class tournament that the student-athletes, coaches and fans will never forget. We feel like our events bring a lot of positives to the communities who embrace them and are confident that we will have several parties interesting in hosting both the football and dance state finals.”

The IHSA plans to announce both hosts in June.