TWA Dome to host games in 2002 and 2003

Coach Ron Turner and the Fighting Illini will visit the TWA Dome in St. Louis in 2002 and 2003.
Coach Ron Turner and the Fighting Illini will visit the TWA Dome in St. Louis in 2002 and 2003.

May 12, 2000

The University of Illinois and University of Missouri announced today at a joint press conference in St. Louis that the schools have agreed to play football games in 2002 and 2003 at the TWA Dome in St. Louis.

"We are very excited about resuming the football series with Missouri, especially with the opportunity to play the games in St. Louis at the TWA Dome," said Illinois Director of Athletics Ron Guenther. "We've established a great series in St. Louis between the two men's basketball programs, and we hope the atmosphere surrounding the football game can approach the one at the Kiel Center. Both institutions obviously have tremendous alumni groups in the St. Louis area, which should allow for terrific interest around the city. A Border War with the tradition that both schools have from two of the nation's most significant conferences should provide one of the best non-conference match-ups in the nation."

Illinois coach Ron Turner will be facing Missouri for the first time in 2002, but it won't be his first exposure to the Illinois-Missouri rivalry.

"One of the first events I attended at Illinois was the Braggin' Rights game in St. Louis, and because of that I can fully appreciate the rivalry between the two schools," Turner said. "It's a natural rivalry, and I think fans and alumni from both schools will enjoy this opportunity to watch two very good football teams. I have a lot of respect for Coach Larry Smith, and Missouri is a strong program."

Missouri leads the series, 11-7, with the last meeting ending in a 42-0 victory for the Fighting Illini in 1994 at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. The schools met in four consecutive seasons from 1991 to 1994 with each team winning twice on its respective home field. Illinois and Missouri met at Busch Stadium in St. Louis in 1969 with the Tigers winning, 37-6.

Dates for the games have been set for Aug. 31, 2002, and Aug. 30, 2003. The schools also have agreed to play a four-game set from 2008 - 2011.