Rugby to Rumble in Rockford - First time championship to generate an estimated $36,000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2014


ROCKFORD, IL - The Rockford Region will host the 2014 Illinois Youth Rugby Association (IYRA) High School and Middle School State Rugby Championships at Sportscore Two's outdoor Wedgbury Stadium, in Loves Park, IL. The High School Championship will take place on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Middle School Championship will take place on Sunday, June 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A rugby tournament has not been hosted in the Rockford Region in several years.

The two tournaments are expected to draw more than 3,750 players, coaches and fans to the Rockford Region. An estimated 200 hotel room nights will be booked and visitors will spend an estimated $36,000 during their stay. There are approximately 30 high school and 20 middle school teams participating this year. General admission for both tournaments is $10 cash, $11 credit card, and there is a $5 discount for individuals who provide a canned good or non-perishable item to donate to the local Northern Illinois Food Bank.

"IYRA welcomes this opportunity to partner with the Rockford Ravens Rugby Club and Rockford Public Schools to promote youth rugby in the Rockford Region. IYRA has partnered with the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Rockford Ravens Rugby Club in securing Sportscore Two for our state championships," said David Hall, President of the Illinois Youth Rugby Association. "The stadium will provide ample elevated seating for parents and supporters to watch the games in comfort. We thank the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Rockford Park District for their assistance in arranging the championships."

Flag Rugby IYRA, in partnership with USA Rugby and American International Group, will distribute rugby equipment to schools interested in playing flag rugby in their physical education programs. IYRA's Youth Development Officer, Drew Parker, will be at both state championships to demonstrate how the game is played. Parker can be reached at dparker@iyra.org.

"Hosting this tournament in the Rockford Region is a result of our sales team's hard work. They continue to seek new opportunities for the Region by making key connections in the sports tourism industry," states John Groh, RACVB president/CEO. "We look forward to a long-term partnership with the IYRA organization and its affiliates."

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. gorockford.com

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FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Bridget French, Director of Marketing & Public Affairs: 815.489.1655 (office)/815.979.1313 (cell) or bfrench@gorockford.com