The Illinois High School Association needs a new home for the state football championships on Thanksgiving weekend starting in 2013. Changes in the Big Ten means U of I will need their field on even years.
SIU's new arena would provide the warmest location for the annual match-up. How about some regional cooperation between Carbondale and Williamson County tourism bureaus? It would take all the rooms in both counties to handle this, but it could be a big boost for late fall tourism.