QUINCY -- While the Illinois boys basketball state tournament heads home, the girls state championships are already there.
The Illinois High School Association Board of Directors announced Monday morning it backed a joint proposal from Illinois State University, the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and others to keep the girls tournament at Redbird Arena.
The Missouri Valley Conference school has hosted the girls tournament since 1992. It also has hosted the girls state volleyball tournament since 1990.
"We take great pride in hosting this championship," Illinois State athletic director Larry Lyons said.
A competing bid from a group representing Peoria and Carver Arena was denied by the board, which met via a video conference call.
The contract will be for three years with the tourney taking place March 4-6 next winter. The IHSA announced earlier this year it will introduce a format chance for both boys and girls state tournaments during the 2020-21 season.
All four classes will compete at the state tournament the same weekend over a three-day span. The Class 1A/2A semifinals and third-place games will take Thursday, with the Class 3A/4A semifinals and third-place games Friday.
All four state championship games will be played Saturday.
The Redbird Arena staff and the entire community is ready for a new era of girls basketball to begin.
"Our great volunteers there are down in the trenches and make the experience for student-athletes very, very special," Lyons said. "We're excited about continuing to host this championship."