UW Health Sports Factory exceeds its tournament goals, impacting - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

UW Health Sports Factory exceeds its tournament goals, impacting Rockford economy

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Just under two months since the UW Health Sports Factory opened its doors, several tournaments have already been held there.

Rockford Park District Executive Director Tim Dimke says it's exceeded his expectations.

"When we set forth to accomplish this, we wanted our local citizens to use that extensively during the week and have tournaments every weekend," Dimke said.

Dimke says the goal was to have 25 tournaments in year one, but they've already booked 32 this year - with 10 more in the works.

"The fact that it's already extremely busy in its first year of operation, exceeding its goal is a great, great prediction of future opportunities," said Mayor Larry Morrissey, (I) Rockford.

The new sports venue was also expected to impact the local tourism industry - bringing in people from all over.

The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau says that's just getting started.

"It's brought about $500-700,000 of economic impact that certainly wasn't here last summer, so that's fantastic news for our community." said Josh Albrecht, Director of Marketing for the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

But the Park District says the facility isn't just for visitors -- it's already being used by Rockford Public School athletes this summer, as well recreational leagues.

"The benefits are endless and countless to our local citizens of having these major, high-quality facilities right in our own backyard," Dimke said.

Something he hopes will drive in more dollars and hometown spirit in the long run.

The Rockford Park District says their goal is to have 40 annual tournaments at the Sports Factory by year five, but they hope to surpass that, as well. 

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