ROCKFORD -- The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau announces that Rockford will host two events bringing a diverse group of visitors to the Forest City. The 2013 International Senior Softball Association (ISSA) World Championships will take place at Sportscore One from Aug. 9 – 11, 2013. The following year, Trekkies will descend on Rockford to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Starfleet, the International Star Trek Fan Association, at the 2014 Starfleet International Conference from Aug. 8 – 10.
The ISSA was founded in 1994 to provide world-class competition for senior softball and has hosted tournaments since 1995. The growth of senior slowpitch softball necessitated a move to a new location, and Rockford’s Sportscore One was selected to host multiple divisions’ play in the World Championships – Central. An estimated 40 to 50 teams are expected to compete, bringing with them 560 players and more than 1,100 spectators. The championships begin at 8 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 9 and the awards ceremony is scheduled following the final game on Aug 11. The tournament will bring an estimated $144,000 in economic activity to the Rockford Region.
In 2014, Rockford can expect a different set of visitors. The International Star Trek Fan Association travels at warp speed to celebrate its 40th anniversary with the Starfleet “Time is Fleeting” International Conference to be held at the Clock Tower Resort. More than 300 Trekkies and guests are expected. The event boasts activities like a starship model contest and charitable auction to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The visitors are expected to generate $44,000 in tourism-related spending while in Rockford.
“Rockford has strong relationships with athletic associations, athletes and coaches who take advantage of our world-class sports facilities for tournaments and events but our goal is to develop connections with a wide variety of visitors to enjoy the amenities our region has to offer,” said RACVB President/CEO John Groh. “Rockford’s tourism industry has a major impact on the economic strength of our community and diversifying the visitor base is part of maximizing our potential as a destination.”
For more information on the ISSA, visit www.seniorsoftball.org. For information on the Starfleet “Time is Fleeting” International Conference, visit www.ic2014.com.