The Illinois High School Association Board of Directors approved a recommendation at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, February 7, 2011 to award new state final hosting site contracts for the IHSA Boys Soccer State Final tournaments.

Beginning in the fall of 2011, the Class 1A Boys Soccer State Final Tournament will be held at The Corn Crib in Normal. The Corn Crib was completed in 2010 and is the home of the Normal Cornbelters minor league baseball team and served as the home field for the Heartland Community College boys and girls soccer teams over the course of the past year. The Corn Crib accommodates seating for 4,200 fans and offers additional seating in grass areas down each outfield line. The field features state of the art synthetic Sprinturf.

The Corn crib hosting bid was submitted by the Normal Cornbelters, the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Bloomington Sports Commission.

“We are thrilled to be awarded the IHSA Class 1A Boys Soccer State Tournament,” said Cornbelters Assistant General Manager Kyle Kreger. “Our goal has always been to make this a community park that goes beyond only Cornbelters and Heartland events. We have added a strong third component with the IHSA and think this a great thing for the Cornbelters, Heartland Community College and the Bloomington-Normal area.”

The Class 2A/3A tournament moves to the campus of Lincoln-Way North High School in Frankfort next fall. Lincoln-Way North Stadium, constructed in 2008, will host the event on its FieldTurf surface. The stadium holds a capacity of 3,400 fans, while the facility is built into a three-quarter bowl that features a grass berm above the north endzone that can accommodate another 1,000-plus spectators.

“We are very excited to host the Class 2A and 3A IHSA Boys Soccer State Finals,” said Lincoln-Way North Principal and IHSA Board member Dr. Michael Gardner. “Not only do we have a great facility and community to offer, but we also feel like our accessibility from all the major highways will be a positive for the incoming teams and fans. The IHSA and the Lincoln-Way School District have enjoyed a great relationship and we look forward to adding another state final event to our hosting duties.”
The Lincoln-Way School District has jointly hosted the IHSA Boys Gymnastics State Finals at its East campus since 2009.

North Central College in Naperville has hosted the boys state soccer tournaments since 2001 and will continue to host all three classes of the IHSA Girls Soccer State Final tournaments in the spring.

“We have a great relationship with North Central College and appreciate everything they have done in hosting the IHSA Boys Soccer State Finals,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “Unfortunately, their football schedule was going to create some date conflicts with our tournament over the next few years. That fact coupled with some other scheduled events made them decide not to renew the boys hosting contract. We thank them again for their service and believe that the Corn Crib and Lincoln-Way North are going to offer first-class state championship experiences.”

The contracts call for both sites to host from 2011 through 2015.