Uppermost State Farm Center seats going, going, gone

On Thursday, University of Illinois senior associate athletic director Tom Michael ushered News-Gazette photo editor John Dixon inside State Farm Center and provided an update on Phase 2 of the $165 million renovation project. The big news? The upper deck of the iconic arena is void of seats.

"Progress is being made," Michael said. "C Section seats have been completely removed. Work is being done in the bowl and on the east and west sides (entrance areas). Weather permitting, we continue to make good progress."

The arena is scheduled to reopen in time for the 2014-15 men's and women's basketball seasons.

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