State Farm Center
|"House of 'Paign"|
|Former names||Assembly Hall (1963-2013)|
|Location||1800 South 1st Street
Champaign, Illinois, USA
|Owner||University of Illinois|
|Operator||University of Illinois|
|Broke ground||May 25, 1959|
|Opened||March 2, 1963|
|Construction cost||$8.35 million
($64.5 million in 2015 dollars)
|Architect||Harrison & Abramovitz|
|Structural engineer||Ammann & Whitney|
|General contractor||Felmley-Dickerson Co.|
|Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball (1963-Present)
Illinois Fighting Illini women's basketball (1974-Present)
State Farm Center (formerly Assembly Hall) is a large dome-shaped indoor arena located in Champaign, Illinois, and is owned and operated by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The State Farm Center hosts games for the Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball and women's basketball teams, and also doubles as a performance and event center.
State Farm Center opened as Assembly Hall on March 2, 1963 and continues to attract attention for its design and construction. From 1963–1965 Assembly Hall was the largest dome structure in North America until the opening of the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. The roof is supported by 614 miles (988 km) of one-quarter inch steel wire wrapped at the base of the dome under intensive pressure. The architect was Max Abramovitz, a University of Illinois alumnus.
Fighting Illini Basketball
State Farm Center hosts home games of Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball and Illinois Fighting Illini women's basketball and has earned a reputation as one of the toughest places to play in college basketball, thanks to the student cheering section, the "Orange Krush," which occupies the floor around the court as well as some seats.
At the annual "Paint the Hall Orange" game, everyone in attendance would wear an orange shirt, resulting in an impressive and intimidating environment. In recent years, however, it has become customary for Illini fans to wear orange at all home games and so the official "PTHO" game was discontinued after the 2007-08 season.
In August 2015, prior to the reopening of the newly renovated State Farm Center, the hardwood floor was dedicated and named Lou Henson Court in honor of the Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball all-time leader in victories Lou Henson.
Men's basketball records at State Farm Center (Assembly Hall)
|Season||Wins||Losses||Win pct.||Total attendance||NCAA rank||Sellouts|
- High attendance for game: 17,087 (Illinois 64, Michigan 52, 2/12/2015)
- Low attendance for game: 3,016 (Illinois 90, North Dakota State 73, 12/8/1975)
- High attendance for season: 282,506, 2006-07 (17 games, 16,618 avg.)
- Low attendance for season: 72,949, 1973-74 (11 games, 6,632 avg.)
- Consecutive sellouts: 60, (12/1/2005 - 3/8/2008)
- Most sellouts in a season: 17 (2006–07)
Individual single game
- Most points
- Overall – 50, Von McDade, Wisconsin-Milwaukee...12/3/1990
- Illini player – 46, Andy Kaufmann...12/3/1990
- Most field goals
- Overall – 19, Rudy Tomjanovich, Michigan...2/22/1969
- Illini player – 17, Andy Kaufmann...12/1/1990 & Eddie Johnson...12/8/1979
- Most field goal attempts
- Overall – 44, Von McDade, Wisconsin-Milwaukee...12/3/1990
- Illini player – 34, Nick Weatherspoon...1/27/73
- Best field goal accuracy (10 shot minimum)
- Overall (Illini player) – 11/11, Derek Harper...2/19/1983
- Illini player – 10/10, Ken Norman...12/14/1985
- Most three-point goals
- Overall – 9, Von McDade, Wisconsin-Milwaukee...12/3/1990
- Illini player – 8, Brandon Paul...1/10/2012, Trenton Meacham...11/19/2006, & Dee Brown...3/3/2005
- Most three-point field goal attempts
- Overall – 22, Von McDade, Wisconsin-Milwaukee...12/3/1990
- Illini player – 16, Kevin Turner...1/3/1998
- Best three-point field goal accuracy (5 attempts minimum)
- Overall (Illini player) – 5/5, Jamar Smith...12/6/2006
- Illini player – 5/5, Sean Harrington...11/26/2000
- Most free throws
- Best free throw accuracy (10 attempts minimum)
- Most rebounds
- Most assists
- Illini player – 15, Bruce Douglas...12/14/1985
- Most steals
- Illini player – 7, Kendall Gill...3,4,1990, Kenny Battle...3/9/1988 & Bruce Douglas...12/8/1986
- Most blocks
- Illini player – 11, Derek Holcomb...12/8/1978
- Most minutes
- Illini player – 60, Bruce Douglas...1/28/84
The third largest Illinois arena after the United Center in Chicago and the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, State Farm Center has just over 16,000 permanent seats, with an official capacity of 16,618 for basketball games, but when portable chairs are placed on the floor for an in-the-round performance there is a potential of up to 17,200 depending on the size of the stage.
State Farm Center has hosted a variety of Illinois High School Association events. It has been the home of the state individual wrestling tournament since 1967. From 1963 to 1995, State Farm Center played host to the state finals of the boys' basketball tournament. From 1978 to 1990, it also hosted the IHSA girls' basketball tournament.
"Illinois Renaissance" renovation
In the autumn of 2008, school officials, led by former Athletics Director Ron Guenther, conducted a study to decide whether to refurbish the then-named Assembly Hall or build a new basketball arena. In 2010 a decision was made to renovate rather than replace the building. The architectural firm AECOM has been selected and awarded a contract to design the renovation. Surveys were sent out to I-Fund and season ticket holders to gauge demand for various premium seating options. This information is being used to create schematic drawings and architectural renderings near the end of 2012, which will be used by current Athletics Director Mike Thomas to aid in fundraising for the project. The anticipated renovation cost is between $150 and $160 million, and construction would not start before spring of 2014. As part of the renovations, the naming rights to the arena were purchased by State Farm Insurance for $60 million over 30 years.
The following Corporate sponsor, Fighting Illini benefactors, former Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball players, and University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign alumni have donated sizeable contributions towards the $169.5 million renovation cost of the State Farm center.
|State Farm Insurance||$60 million over 30 years||Corporate sponsorship||State Farm Center|
|John Giuliani||$5 million||Alumnus||Traditions Club|
|Mannie Jackson||$3 million||Former player||University of Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame|
|Dave Downey||$2 million||Former player||Courtside Club|
|Timothy and Sharon Ubben||$2 million||Benefactors||Donor Recognition Wall|
|Jim Benson||$2 million||Alumnus||Legacy Club|
|John Penicook family||$1 million||Alumni||West Horseshoe Drive|
|Phillip and Heidi Sarnecki||$500,000||Alumni||Men's Coaches Locker Room|
|Dennis D. Swanson family||$500,000||Alumnus||Illini Media Center|
|H. D. Smith Foundation||$500,000||Alumnus||Sports Medicine Facility|
|Jeffrey Kautz family||$250,000||Alumnus||Dining Room|
Fighting Illini home courts
- Kenney Gym (1905–1925) located on the campus of the University of Illinois and is named after Harold E. (Hek) Kenney. The arena opened in 1890 and was originally known as the Men's Gym Annex.
- Huff Hall (1925–1963) opened in 1925 and was known as Huff Gymnasium until the 1990s. It is named after George Huff, who was the school's athletic director from 1895 to 1935.
- Assembly Hall/State Farm Center (1963–present)
- Kacich, Tom (May 20, 2009). "University of Illinois' 'Flying Saucer' Has Aged Gracefully". The News-Gazette (Champaign-Urbana). Retrieved January 22, 2012.
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
- Ryan, Shannon (2015-08-24). "Illinois names basketball court for former coach Lou Henson". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
-  Attendance Leaders
- 2014-15 Illinois Basketball Record Book pg. 137
- Bannon, Terry (August 21, 2008). "Guenther Assesses Assembly Hall's Fate". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 21, 2008.
- Patel, Darshan (December 2, 2011). "Board Approves Assembly Hall Architect, Natural History Building Funds and Easter as Interim Vice Chancellor". Daily Illini (University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign). Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- Supine, John (August 14, 2012). "U of I Gauges Demand for Premium Seats in Assembly Hall". The State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL). Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- "Illini's Assembly Hall Renamed". ESPN. April 29, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- "Illinois Renaissance". Illinois DIA. 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-16.
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