Rockford Region to Welcome Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation for 12th Consecutive Year
Tournament visitors to spend an estimated $180,000 while in Rockford

March 12, 2014

ROCKFORD, IL - The Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation (IKWF) state tournament is taking place at the BMO Harris Bank Center from March 13-15, 2014, making this the 12th consecutive year IKWF will be hosted in the Rockford Region. This denotes Rockford as the longest-running host of this youth wrestling state competition.

"It has been a great relationship with the RACVB, the City of Rockford and the BMO Harris Bank Center over the past 12 years. This year, and future years to come, should continue to be the same because this is where IKWF wants to stay," states Gene Lee, Vice President of IKWF.

Approximately 900 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, coaches and spectators, who are projected to spend an estimated $180,000 while visiting Rockford. The RACVB is co-sponsor and orchestrates the Opening Ceremony and Color Guard presentation.


Thursday, March 13th
 - 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. - Weigh-in at BMO Harris Bank Center

Friday, March 14th
Session I
 - 8:00 a.m. - Grand March with Parade of Wrestlers and Color Guard performance
 - 8:25 a.m. - Speaking Begins (John Groh RACVB President/CEO & Mayor Larry Morrissey)
 - 8:30 a.m. - National Anthem
 - 9:00 a.m. - Championship Preliminary Round
 - 12:00 p.m. (approx.) - Championship First Round
Session II
 - 5:15 p.m. - Jim Didi Coach of the Year Presentation
 - 5:30 p.m. - Championship Quarterfinal Round
 - 6:00 p.m. - Consolation Preliminary Round
 - 7:30 p.m. (approx.) - Consolation First Round

Saturday, March 15th
Session III

 - 8:00 a.m. - Championship Semifinal and Consolation Quarterfinal Rounds
 - 9:45 a.m. (approx.) - Consolation Semifinal Round
Session IV
 - 3:00 p.m. - Place Bouts (3rd, 5th, and 7th)
 - 5:00 p.m. (approx.) - Parade of Finalists
 - 5:30 p.m. (approx.) - Championship Bouts (2 mats on platform)

"We are pleased to welcome the IKWF organization, wrestlers, their families and friends to Rockford for another successful state tournament. The BMO Harris Bank Center is the ideal venue to accommodate this type of high caliber event. The RACVB, along with our community and industry partners, will graciously host these folks visiting the Region," said John Groh, RACVB President & CEO. "We look forward to this tradition of showing out of town guests the numerous reasons why Rockford is a wonderful place to be."

The RACVB also helps local area businesses capitalize on additional foot traffic by providing visitors with information about the many sites, attractions and eateries exclusive to the area. A downtown map is also available, highlighting where attractions and eateries are located, along with the routes for shuttle bus services provided to IKWF attendees.

Traffic and Parking Advisory
All downtown businesses and commuters are advised that traffic will be heavy for a short time the morning of Friday, March 14 as visitors arrive for the tournament's opening ceremonies. The RACVB is collaborating with the City of Rockford and the BMO Harris Bank Center to utilize sandwich board signs and street signage, and to help direct traffic and minimize delays for both commuters and visitors. Parking will also be impacted by the tournament. Residents should be aware that select city lots will charge $5 for parking on March 13 -15. These locations include the Pioneer Deck across from the Coronado (on North Main Street), the Water Street parking deck (on the corner of East State Street and North Water Street), the former RPS 205 Administration Building (at 201 South Madison Street), the former Ingersoll Building (on the corner of Walnut Street and South Water Street) and the Hinshaw & Culbertson lot (on the corner of North Wyman Street and West Jefferson Street).

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.


Bridget French, Director of Marketing & Public Affairs: 815.489.1655 or