1500 Athletes Coming to Downtown Rockford
The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is pleased to host the Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation (IKWF) state tournament at the BMO Harris Bank Center from March 12-14, 2015. This is the 13th consecutive year the IKWF tournament will take place in Rockford, making Rockford the longest-running host of this youth wrestling state competition.
“It is an honor to welcome the IKWF organization, wrestlers, their families and friends back to the Rockford region. Our community and industry partners are committed to providing our visitors with a venue, customer support and overall experience that exceeds their expectations,” said John Groh, RACVB President & CEO. “As a leading sports tournament destination in the Midwest, we understand tournament directors have options and appreciate that they continue to say yes to Rockford.”
Over 1,000 top wrestlers in Illinois, boys and girls, ages 10-14 will compete for championship accolades in the tournament. This three day event draws nearly 1,500 athletes and coaches who are projected to spend an estimated $350,000 while visiting Rockford. The RACVB is co-sponsor and orchestrates the Opening Ceremony and Color Guard presentation.
“We’re glad to be partnering with the RACVB, City of Rockford and BMO Harris Bank Center as we host another successful IKWF tournament in the Rockford region. The venue and high level of customer service we’ve received have been key in accommodating the thousands of wrestlers, families and friends visiting for the weekend,” states Gene Lee, IKWF Vice President. “Rockford has exactly what we’re looking for in a host city.”
RACVB staff, community partners and volunteers will circulate throughout downtown Rockford on Friday from 2:30 – 4 p.m. handing out information sheets, maps and coupons that will help visitors get around with ease. This team of Rockford Ambassadors will answer questions guests may have and recommend where to eat, stay and play throughout the region. They will be on foot at various locations near the BMO Harris Bank Center.
All downtown businesses and commuters are advised that traffic will be heavy for a short time the morning of Friday, March 13 as visitors arrive for the tournament’s opening ceremonies. RACVB is collaborating with the City of Rockford and the BMO Harris Bank Center to help direct traffic and minimize delays for both commuters and visitors.
Parking will also be impacted by the tournament. All city lots and on-street parking will operate according to the posted time restrictions and daily rates (parking fees may apply to some lots and decks). For visitors, suggested parking locations available throughout the three-day tournament include the Pioneer Deck across from the Coronado (on North Main Street), the Hinshaw & Culbertson lot (on the corner of North Wyman Street and West Jefferson Street) and the YMCA south lot on Y Blvd. A map is available at GoRockford.com that includes information on shuttle service, directions and a full list of parking lots available for each day of the tournament.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Andrea Mandala, Marketing & Communications Manager: 815.489.1664 or email@example.com
Here's a look at some of the action from a couple years back: