December 04, 2023

Multi-Purpose Arena reopens for State Fair

JB Pritzker

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — After a major infrastructure overhaul, the Multi-Purpose Arena will be open for this year’s Illinois State Fair, scheduled Aug. 10-20.

The MPA underwent an $8.6 million overhaul in 2022, repairing sidewalks, walls, steps, expansion joints and electrical systems, readjusting the tension structure, installing a new canopy and rebuilding the retaining walls around the facility.

The funding was made possible by the Rebuild Illinois capital program, which modernizes infrastructure throughout the state.

“The Illinois State Fair is one of the jewels of our state, and my administration has prioritized investing in our fairgrounds to make sure every inch of the grounds reflects the best of Illinois,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

“The new and improved MPA is another important addition to the improvements we’ve made over the last several years, and I look forward to seeing Illinoisans from across the state come together to enjoy the space.”

The MPA will play host to four major events during the 2023 Illinois State Fair.

Thursday, Aug. 10 will be full of destruction with an all-out monster truck thrill show featuring trucks going head-to-head in an all-out battle in Monsters of Destruction.

On Saturday, Aug. 12, the ultimate rodeo experience returns to the MPA with ISF Bares, Broncs and Bulls. Outlaw 5J Rodeo Company promises to keep the fans on their feet with a high-energy rodeo experience.

The Illinois Soybean Association presents three nights of truck and tractor pulls with the ITPA Truck and Tractor Pulls. Starting Monday, Aug. 14, through Wednesday, Aug. 16, the MPA will be roaring with the sounds of big machines to see which can pull the drag the farthest.

The MPA entertainment will wrap up Saturday, Aug, 19, with a night of demolition. The ISF Championship Demolition Derby returns to the MPA. Come and see who can outlast all the hits and be crowned the ISF Demolition Derby Champion.

“The reopening of the MPA is just a reminder of the $58.1 million invest the Pritzker administration has made to improve our historic fairgrounds,” said Jerry Costello II, Illinois Department of Agriculture director.

“Starting with the Coliseum and expanding across the grounds, fairgoers will be able to see firsthand the commitment this administration has made to enhance our fairgoers experience and restore our fairground’s history.”

“We are excited to have the MPA refurbished and back for the 2023 Illinois State Fair,” added Rebecca Clark, Illinois State Fair manager.

“The entertainment we have lined up throughout the fair at the MPA will have something for all ages to enjoy.”

Tom Doran

Tom C. Doran

Field Editor