Quidditch Comes to Rockford

Region to host first Quidditch tournament;

economic impact estimated at $36,000


January 8, 2013

ROCKFORD, IL - A new sport, straight out of children's literature, is sweeping college campuses across the country and has landed in the Rockford region. Quidditch, created by J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter children's series, has traversed from fiction to reality and will hit the fields in Rockford. The Rockford region will host its first-ever Quidditch tournament April 26-27, 2013 on the Rockford Park District soccer fields by Elliot Golf Course.

According to the International Quidditch Association, the game was created by Middleburry College students in 2005 and quickly spread to other universities in New England and then across the United States. The sport now boasts more than 1,000 teams and is played on six different continents.

Some modifications have been made to accommodate the players' lack of magical abilities. For example brooms remain grounded and the yellow snitch has traded its wings for legs.

The Quidditch tournament is a direct result of RACVB strategic efforts to target non-traditional sports, according to RACVB President/CEO John Groh. "The Rockford region has already made a name for itself in sports like soccer, softball and baseball. Now it's time to grow by thinking outside the box. We've starting attracting events like cheer, dance, table tennis, billiards, chess, lacrosse and now quidditch. These types of events are a growing presence at national trade shows and open up entirely new markets for our community."

Event organizers say they chose Rockford because they believe it will help them grow the sport and their tournament.

"What really appealed to me about hosting a tournament here in Rockford, was the possibility for future quidditch growth in the area. Rockford has some great facilities like Sportscore One and Two, and they would be potentially perfect locations to host a larger scale tournament in the future such as the Midwest Regionals or World Cup for quidditch," said Shayla Johnson, the Illinois State Qidditch Representative. "Rockford is also centrally located, with easy access to hotels and other accommodations. This makes Rockford an ideal location to host a family event such as quidditch, so that many people are able to come and be a part of it."

The event will fill 200 hotel room nights and generate an estimated $36,000 for area businesses.

RACVB is a private, non-profit organization established in 1984 to champion efforts to promote the Rockford Region as an overnight visitor destination. The RACVB adds wealth to the region's economy by investing in marketing programs that grow tourism. www.gorockford.com



Kristina DeCoster, Director of Public Affairs: 815.489.1664 or kdecoster@gorockford.com