DEKALB -- Organizers of this year's high school football state finals say the two-day event drew nearly 30,000 fans to Northern Illinois University's football stadium.
That represents an increase from the previous year, when about 26,800 fans attended the games at Illinois' Memorial Stadium in Champaign, according to a Daily Chronicle report.
DeKalb hosted the finals for the first time in November, and Saturday's games included several teams from the Chicago suburbs: Montini, Batavia, Richards, Lake Zurich, Mount Carmel, Loyola Academy and Naperville Central.
DeKalb will alternate hosting duties for the final games with Champaign-Urbana as part of arrangement that runs through 2021 with the Illinois High School Association.
Northern Illinois was able to secure the championship games because of the school's closeness to Chicago, which organizers hoped would bring more fans to the games.
The finals return to DeKalb in 2015.