Despite living just under an hour from Champaign, I had never gotten around to visiting the campus for a basketball game. That opportunity presented itself on Thursday evening as I travelled out for an 8PM eastern time start against Evansville. I was hoping to see a good game, but I did not. Illinois really took it to the Aces and really have me excited for what they can do this year. The Illini will upset some teams this year, but still won’t be at the top o the Big Ten. Their time is coming though. Here’s a look at the State Farm Center
This is the view as you walk up to the stadium. It’s very cool to see something that looks so different than any other venue. The last picture is the entrance that I went into on the ground floor.
I ended up sitting up on the second deck because there were so many media members there for who knows why. It was a good view and the center is HUGE. There is so much space it’s crazy. Here are a few pictures from where I was sitting.
After the game I took a few pictures of the media room and food area, followed by the press conference after the game.
There was no food for media besides popcorn. The media room was laid out pretty well but there was not much space in which to work. To get to the media room you had to go down a tiny stairwell and then back up to court level. It was an intricate design for sure. After the game I ended up walking around a little bit to snag some pictures. This progression of pictures is from the locker room to the court as the players see it.
There isn’t much underneath the stands that I was able to access, but here are some pictures of the various things that you can find. One cool thing is a club where you can eat and specific tickets have access too.
I then ventured up to the suite level and a cleaning lady let me in to see a suite and the view.
I then ventured around to take pictures from various spots in the seats and to take a few pictures of the banners.
The concourse was set up so that on each level you could exit the game. This is how it looked.
Below is the seating chart for the game as well as the final stats. This was interesting to see with how everyone was spaced out. Not one spot for everyone.
Finally, here are a couple parting shots. The first is as I leave and then some pictures in the rainy Illinois sky.
I had a ton of fun doing this. If there is anything I can do better, let me know. Share this article, it would mean a TON to me. If you want to get your comments to me faster, my DM’s/mentions are open on Twitter (@masonhasher). I want to thank r/collegebasketball for letting me do this and u/nebraska_actually for letting me get into his good graces and taking a chance.
I’ll be at the Ball State football game on Tuesday and the IU basketball game on Wednesday. So check back for that!