Illinois' Assembly Hall gets a new name

Illinois announced Monday it has changed the name of Assembly Hall to the State Farm Center as part of a 30-year, $60 million agreement which will help fund the building’s upcoming renovations.

"We are extremely proud to announce this relationship with State Farm, one of the most respected corporate brands in the world," Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said is a statement. "State Farm has been an outstanding partner for the University of Illinois for more than two decades, and this agreement will carry that partnership forward for at least three more. The Assembly Hall is one of the most recognizable structures in the nation and, at 50 years of age, has served the UI campus, community and Central Illinois very well. This agreement will ensure State Farm Center will serve those same constituents, and even more, for many years to come.

"From the very early stages of this project, it was clearly apparent that naming rights for the building would play a major part in the funding model. This agreement complements support from campus and our students while supplementing support from the community."

The arena has been named Assembly Hall since it opened on March 2, 1963. The arena is scheduled to undergo a major renovation beginning later this year and be completed in the fall of 2016 in time for the 2016-2017 Illini basketball season.

State Farm and Illinois have partnered together in the past. The company's Bloomington, Ill., headquarters are located 50 miles from Illinois' campus, and the school's buildings include the State Farm Research and Development Center.