Illinois to Open 2015-2016 Season at Prairie Capital Convention Center
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- The University of Illinois says the Illini men's basketball team will play five 2015-16 games in Springfield while work continues on the State Farm Center.
Athletic director Mike Thomas said Thursday that one exhibition and four non-conference games in November 2015 will be played at the Prairie Capital Convention Center. Springfield is about 85 miles west of Champaign.
The convention center seats about 7,700. Illinois' on-campus arena seats 17,000. Work on the arena began this year and will continue into 2016. The schedule allows the Illini to use the facility for games this season, which is scheduled to start next week.
UPDATE: The University of Illinois says the basketball court in the State Farm Center will be ready next week for the start of the men's and women's basketball season.
The university said in a news release Thursday that the playing surface was not damaged by water that backed up into the arena earlier this week. A drain line was blocked and several inches of water were on the arena floor and reached the court.
The court was removed and dried but has been reinstalled.
The men's team opens with an exhibition against Quincy on Nov. 7. The women's team faces Millikin University on Nov. 8.