Local leaders, restaurants hope IHSA basketball tournaments play in Peoria

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois High School Association board members vote Monday on whether state basketball tournaments will play in Peoria.

Since 1996, Peoria has hosted the IHSA boys basketball tournament. Local leaders and businesses hope the tournament is here to stay.

“We’ve had such a storied history with the IHSA tournament for the boys basketball tournament the last 25 years,” said J.D. Dalfonso, President and CEO of Enjoy Peoria.

Monday, leaders will vote on whether the boys tournament will stay in Peoria. The city could also be picked to host the girls tournament.

Dalfonso says the Peoria Civic Center is an ideal venue for both tournaments.

“We can have the basketball tournament and just walk across the hall to an experience,” said Dalfonso.

Tournament weekends draw huge crowds to the city.

“It brings a ton of people in, great people that we always like to see on an annual basis,” said Jeremy Berger, manager at Qdoba in East Peoria.

Players, parents, and fans stay in hotels, eat at restaurants, and shop nearby.

“The economic impact is about four million dollars over the two weekends,” said Dalfonso.

Berger says it’s business booms during tournaments.

“They come in, they spend a lot of money, they have a good time,” said Berger.

He hopes Peoria continues to host tournaments and attract basketball fans to the area.

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