National softball tournament comes to Stateline

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) ---- "We're bringing our communities together, unifying for the common love of 'to play ball.'"

With opening day just around the corner, folks young and old are eager for the start of the spring sports season. That's why the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as Visit Beloit are banding together to welcome the 2019 national softball association girls fast pitch world series to the Stateline.

"It takes bringing together our communities to provide enough volunteers and enough locations to make that happen. But, a great example is how city and counties would work together, very similar with how our two tourism industries are working together," said Visit Beloit Executive Director Celestino Ruffini.

From July 17 through the 21st, the NSA World Series is expected to draw thousands of visitors, generating more than $2.1 million in revenue. The first of its kind in the region, the partnership sparks the possibility of bringing the tournament back for years to come.

"They're really so far impressed with our collaboration and our ability to have brought these multiple facilities together within a relatively close proximity and so they're going to look to us to be in rotation every two to four years for a tournament of this magnitude,” said John Groh, President & CEO, RACVB.

As the spotlight shines on the area, organizers say this is just the start of something great.

"When you start using muscles, they get stronger and you can use them more often and more strenuously. And so, we do look forward to doing more with Visit Beloit and other partners like this going forward," said Groh.