In 2004 the state made tough man competitions illegal. That move ended a long standing tradition in Rockford. This week it wasn't just fighters and promoters battling to keep the matches alive. Rockford’s city council joined in as well.
The city's aldermen unanimously supported a resolution to ask the state government to rethink its ban on tough man matches. Some of the states major arguments for banning the fights include the lack of safety precautions at some tough man competitions. However local promoters say in Rockford’s long history of tough man fighting no-one has been seriously injured, and there are always doctors on hand. Alderman
Frank Beach believes the matches have done nothing but helped the city of Rockford.
The last time the Metro-Center had tough man competitions the daily attendance averaged 4,000 people.