- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - After starting the season with seven games away from home, Illinois will reopen the State Farm Center on Wednesday.

The Illini (3-4) played a mix road games and “home” games in Springfield, while they waited on the $169.5 million arena renovation. They face Notre Dame (4-2) Wednesday.

Illinois coach John Groce said Tuesday the redone arena is a “game-changer” for the basketball program.

He recalled taking the job in 2012 and bringing then-new recruit Kendrick Nunn into the building. Groce said there was little in the 52-year-old arena that stood out.

The arena has new luxury boxes and other premium seating and new blue and bright-orange seats. Concessions have been upgraded, too.

Illinois on Wednesday will also officially name the court after Illini coaching legend Lou Henson.

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