Online Staff Report
The Illinois Kids Wrestling Federation (IKWF) state tournament is taking place at the BMO Harris Bank Center March 13-15, 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,” said Gene Lee, vice president of IKWF. “This year, and future years to come, should continue to be the same because this is where IKWF wants to stay.”
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.
“We are pleased to welcome the IKWF organization, wrestlers, their families and friends to Rockford for another successful state tournament,” said John Groh, RACVB president & CEO. “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. We look forward to this tradition of showing out-of-town guests the numerous reasons why Rockford is a wonderful place to be.”
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 S. Madison St.), 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).
Posted March 12, 2014