Northern Illinois University will host the Illinois High School Association state football finals in odd-numbered years beginning in 2013 and running through 2021 the IHSA announced today.
“This is a great day for our university, the DeKalb-Sycamore community and our entire northern Illinois region,” said Jeff Compher, NIU associate vice president and director of Athletics. “I would like to thank everyone that contributed to bringing the IHSA football playoffs to Northern Illinois University.
“I would especially like to thank the Northern Illinois University staff, Debbie Armstrong of the DeKalb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and DeKalb High School Athletics Director Dan Jones for their efforts. We are very excited to be hosting this event and look forward to exposing high school students to our incredible facilities and outstanding community.”
“It has long been the desire of our community to host the IHSA Football Championships,” said NIU President John G. Peters. “We are extremely excited about today’s news and look forward to the opportunity to showcase all that DeKalb and the NIU community has to offer to high school football teams and fans from across the state.”
Compher and John Gordon, the director of the Convocation Center, which manages Huskie Stadium, led a joint campus-community steering committee to bring the state playoffs to DeKalb.
“I’m excited, I’m elated,” Gordon said. “I think it’s wonderful for NIU, our community, our county and this Northern Illinois region. It makes a lot of sense to be here. I think we can put on a great show and a great event for IHSA and all the fans that come out.”
Huskie Stadium, which boasts a seating capacity of 24,000, will be the site for the eight classes of the state football playoffs. With its FieldTurf playing surface, the state-of-the-art Yordon Center and the soon to be constructed Chessick Practice Center, Huskie Stadium is an excellent venue for football.
Northern Illinois University head football coach Dave Doeren expressed his gratitude to the IHSA for awarding the state championships to NIU and the city of DeKalb.
“I would like to thank the IHSA for bringing the state championship games to DeKalb and to Northern Illinois University,” said Doeren. “We’re really honored and privileged to not only have the opportunity to host the games but to be able to showcase our facilities. We think, for the next five events that take place here, people are going to want to come back. We can’t wait to show them why NIU is such a special place.”