Fred Kroner: Tourney switch not a given for C-U

Fred Kroner: Tourney switch not a given for C-U

Dreams are wonderful.

Without dreams, we often have no hope.

Dreams can come in the form of fantasies, or they can take the shape of realistic goals.

A terrific dream is that the boys’ and girls’ high school basketball state tournaments will once again be played in Champaign, the community from which they never should have left in the 1990s.

It’s the home of the state university. For many young, aspiring athletes, it would be a dream to play in what old-timers still call the Assembly Hall, but for political correctness must be referred to now as State Farm Center.

The IHSA announcement this week that it is accepting bids to host the basketball finals, starting in 2016, shouldn’t be viewed as a sign of hope for those anxious for the relocation to occur. It’s a courtesy. It’s a formality.

There’s a better chance to win two lottery drawings. On the same night.

There’s a better chance of the Cubs winning back-to-back World Series titles before 2016 arrives. (Dreams, remember, are wonderful.)

It’s not going to happen.

Peoria has done nothing to lose the boys’ tournament, and Normal has done nothing to lose the girls’ tournament.

Beyond that, half-filled arenas (or three-fourths-filled, if you’re an eternal optimist) at the current locations don’t signal a need for a move. Why come to the 16,000-seat facility on the UI campus and have even more seats unfilled?

It’s good for speculation. It’s good to take our minds off this week’s heat wave.

But it’s a dream, and soon enough we will awaken to the reality that it’s not going to happen.

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ilmsff7 wrote on June 18, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Like it or not, Peoria has done a really good job hosting the IHSA tournament the past 20 years.  CU would also do a great job too, but....

I think this bid opening has been done by IHSA to make sure Peoria doesn't get lazy in its hosting duties, and also to incite a mini-bidding war to increase some revenue flow.