Get Back To Where We Once Belonged

Feb 10, 2015

If you’re a parent with kids in traveling sports, you certainly understand the impact of sports tourism on your wallet.

The Rockford region has long been a leader in sports tourism. However, in recent years we fell behind as other communities invested in sports facilities and captured tournaments that previously had come to our region.

Now, thanks to the Reclaiming First initiative led by the Rockford Park District and Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, we are poised to “reclaim first” in the competition for the economic benefits of sports tourism.

This project brings a multi-million expansion to Sportscore 2 at I-90 and Riverside, which hosts soccer and a variety of other sports. And, most dramatically, it adds the Ingersoll Sports Facility on the river in downtown Rockford, with the ability to host basketball, volleyball and wrestling, as well as trade shows and conferences.

The investment in Reclaiming First is the best of both worlds for the Rockford region. It provides top flight facilities for our residents to use on a daily basis.  And, those same facilities bring economic benefits to our region.

More than $15 million annually in private sector revenue and almost $2 million in tax revenue will be generated from the Reclaiming First facilities once they are fully operational.  That’s real revenue that supports jobs, helps us maintain our infrastructure and contributes to a better quality of life for all our residents.  

Sports tourism is real. It works.  And, our region is ready to reclaim first.

I'm Wester Wuori ... and that's my perspective.