Well, at least this will clear up any confusion in Indiana/Illinois circles.
Looks like Illinois is changing the name of its arena from The Assembly Hall, taking on a sponsor and dubbing it The State Farm Center. The news came via the school’s athletic website.
The arena shared a name with that of conference foe Indiana’s, but now there won’t be any issues — not that there ever really was one, I’ve haven’t heard many people confuse the two.
The contract is cash-laden for Illinois. The 30-year, $60 million agreement was reached in part to assist in the major renovation project the arena will be undergoing. It will reportedly be finished in the fall of 2016. The title sponsor, obviously, comes from State Farm Insurance.
“We are extremely proud to announce this relationship with State Farm, one of the most respected corporate brands in the world,” Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas said. “State Farm has been an outstanding partner for the University of Illinois for more than two decades, and this agreement will carry that partnership forward for at least three more. The Assembly Hall is one of the most recognizable structures in the nation and, at 50 years of age, has served the UI campus, community and Central Illinois very well. This agreement will ensure State Farm Center will serve those same constituents, and even more, for many years to come.”
The company and the school already have deep ties, with State Farm’s headquarters only 50 miles from campus. The insurance giant also has a research and development building named in their honor at Illinois.
The name change will go into effect immediately. The Fighting Illini have played in their Assembly Hall since 1963.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten