Mat tourney to return for 3 more years

The Illinois Kids’ Wrestling Federation has extended its original three-year contract at the MetroCentre for a second three-year period, 2006 through 2008, according to Gene Lee, a sectional director of the IKWF and coach of the Rockford Wrestling Club.

“The federation felt that Rockford and the MetroCentre did a great job so they wanted to come back here,” said Lee. “It’s pretty unusual to extend a contract like this. Since I’ve been involved, which is about 15 years, the tournament has moved every three years.

“The hospitality from area hotels has been great. The MetroCentre and everybody worked together, so all our visitors were happy. The people who attended saw the Convention and Visitors Bureau helping people with directions and the shuttle buses from the hotels ran smoothly. That’s also why they wanted to book the Northern Plains tournament for Rockford for June,” he added.

The estimated economic impact of the second three-year contract is $640,000 to the local economy. At the end of the first three-year contract, approximately $610,000 will have been spent at area hotels, restaurants and other businesses. The total estimated economic impact for the six-year period will be $1,250,000.

In addition, the MetroCentre makes about $12,000 from each tournament.

This year’s Northern Plains Kids Regional Wrestling Championship with Girls’ Freestyle will be June 16-19 at the MetroCentre.

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