The first IHSA state football finals held in DeKalb drew almost 30,000 fans to Northern Illinois' Huskie Stadium over two days, according to IHSA spokesman Matt Troha.
Troha also said the Friday attendance to watch the Class 1A-4A finals was just more than 10,000.
One of the main reasons NIU was able to secure the bid for the state football finals in odd-numbered years through 2021 was its proximity to Chicago and the potential for more fans to attend if the finals were closer.
That proved to be true in 2013.
Troha said the attendance for last year's state finals in Champaign at Illinois' Memorial Stadium was "around 26,800". The Friday attendance was a little more than 8,000 in 2012.
The state finals will return to Champaign in 2014, but come back to DeKalb in 2015, alternating between the two sites through 2021.