This Northern Illinois city offers only its best to visitors. That means top-notch attractions, entertainment and, of course, sport facilities. Rockford is nationally recognized as an expert host for many sports, ranging from soccer and softball to rugby and pickleball. Parks, fields and stadiums all strive to exceed sport planners’ expectations. The people of Rockford don’t stop until every person’s need is met for the big game day.
Don’t expect the wonders of Rockford to start and stop on game day, though. The many museums, parks and entertainment spots ensure that a tournament planned here is an experience bigger than you could anticipate.
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Rockford’s Top Facilities
Mercyhealth Sportscore One
Sports: Soccer, softball, baseball, lacrosse, ultimate Frisbee, rugby
Mercyhealth Sportscore One’s 179-acre facility offers extensive, luxurious grounds for a variety of sports. It offers eight premier soccer fields, nine regulation soccer fields and eight lighted softball or baseball diamonds. Sportscore is nationally recognized for hosting rugby, ultimate Frisbee and other events. Beyond the fields themselves, concession stands, restrooms, locker facilities, boat ramps and two playgrounds are also available. Recreational activities such as running, biking, boating and fishing can all be enjoyed at Mercyhealth Sportscore One.
Mercyhealth Sportscore Two
Sports: Soccer, volleyball, rugby, pickleball, ultimate Frisbee, football, adapted wheelchair sports
Covering 180 acres in Loves Park, Mercyhealth Sportscore Two is designed to host tournaments and events year round, with indoor and outdoor multi-sport surfaces. Mercyhealth Sportscore Two’s Wedgbury Stadium/Indoor Sports Center includes indoor and outdoor concessions and picnic areas, indoor and outdoor dining at the Skybox overlooking the fields, a tournament staging area for pictures, a playground and ample parking. Expansion plans have begun and include: new synthetic turf field, new lighting system (NCAA professional level), new pathways, a restroom building, upgrades to bleachers and a press box. Indoor Sports Center (ISC), also a part of Mercyhealth Sportscore Two, includes a 60,000-square-foot indoor sports center with three indoor multi-sport soccer fields, five volleyball/basketball courts, a sports equipment store, Skybox restaurant and sports bar. This venue can also accommodate a variety of events, including conventions, trade shows, expos, weddings, receptions, festivals and more. ISC is wheelchair-accessible and hosts various adaptive wheelchair sports. In total, there are 33 regulation fields that can be used for any sport, from pickleball to soccer including variations of sports adapted for players in wheelchairs. Recent enhancements include six new turf and multi-purpose lighted fields. The Indoor Sports Center will be converted to turf on both sides. Expansion plans include new synethetic turf field, new lighting system (NCAA professional level), new pathways and a restroom building, upgrades to bleachers and press box.
UW Health Sports Factory
Sports: Basketball, volleyball, dance, cheerleading
Rockford’s new premiere multi-use riverfront indoor sports venue opened June 1, 2016. This 105,000-square-foot indoor amateur sports complex houses flexible floor space for eight regulation size basketball courts, 16 volleyball courts will two championship courts and 16 wrestling mats. This venue also accommodates other sports such as dance and cheerleading. It includes 3,700 portable bleachers, five meeting rooms, riverfront boardwalk, full restaurant and concessions onsite.
Sports: Water sports
The Rock River links 11 counties in Wisconsin and Illinois over a course of 320 miles. The water trail is a delineated path on the river. The river is ideal for events and tournaments involving water skiing, wakeboarding, paddle boarding, boating, fishing and other water sports. The river has hosted the yearly Head of the Rock Regatta, all the Rockford Ski Broncs Waterski Show Team events and the Indmar Marine Engines Division One Show Ski National Championships for eight years running.
BMO Harris Bank Center
Sports: Indoor sports
Located in downtown Rockford, close to restaurants and attractions, BMO Harris Bank Center covers 33,000 square feet of concrete floor space. Equipped with convenient parking, concessions, executive suites, club boxes and club seats, the arena hosts a variety of entertainment, including concerts, motor sports and family shows. Just about any indoor sport can be accommodated in the space, including hockey and other ice events. The arena is also notable for being the home of the Rockford IceHogs, AHL affiliate of the Blackhawks.
Searls Park BMX Race Course
Sports: BMX racing
Searls Park prides itself as the premier BMX race facility in Northern Illinois for 20 years. Clinics and programs headed by professional BMX riders cater to beginners. The award-winning track hosts the USA BMX Midwest Nationals. Transworld BMX magazine rated Searls the No. 8 BMX track in the US. Ranked No. 2 Central Division track by the American Bicycle Association.
West Rock Wake Park at Levings Lake
Sports: Water sports
West Rock Wake Park or WRWP is the first cable park of its kind in the Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin region. The park employs Sesitec’s cutting-edge, environmentally friendly, two-tower straight line cable system, making it possible to take the sport of wakeboarding anywhere. WRWP’s two towers are suspended 26-30 feet above the water and run parallel to each other, with carriers between them every 80 meters. Sport planners use for a variety of water sports. Visitors can rent paddleboards and picnic shelters.
Sports: Outdoor and winter sports
Open year round, Alpine Hills Adventure Park hosts a variety of activities. In the summer months, the five-hole youth or beginner golf course and practice range are open, as well as a zip line tree canopy tour and paths for running, biking, hiking or walking. During the winter, the park’s hills turn into the perfect place for tubing, tobogganing and snowboarding. A permanent snow-making system is used to ensure these sports can go on all winter. Visitors can rent equipment and get instructions for all the winter sports and activities.
- Customer service group with a high standard in providing the best customer service when helping to plan your tournament and sporting events
- Service and sales managers are hands-on, ensure smooth carefree event, high attention to detail, information and assistance in every area
- Will recommend quality hotel rooms and accommodations at reasonable group rates
- Can make it easy and convenient to visit local sites, attractions, shopping, eateries, transportation, sightseeing, family-friendly activities while visiting the area
- Local marketing and social media services to assist in promoting the event
Rockford’s Finest Attractions and Accommodations
By all accounts, Rockford is certainly not short on attractions and entertainment. Rockford gives visitors a taste of excitement, history and that unique local flavor. Throughout the summer cool off at one of the best water parks in the Midwest: Magic Waters!
Rivers Stadium, home to professional baseball’s Rockford Rivets, a member of the Northwoods league, offers a great chance to enjoy a ballgame in style, with VIP areas, group rates, and a Kid Zone with inflatables, speed pitch and a playground. For more excitement, check out Volcano Falls Adventure Park for mini golf, laser tag, go-kart racing and an arcade.
Check out Midway Village Museum for a look at local history, including the original sock monkey. The Burpee Museum of Natural History boasts the most complete juvenile T-Rex skeleton ever discovered. Anderson Japanese Gardens, one of the top-rated Japanese gardens in North America, offers an exploration of another culture with gardens, a teahouse and gift shop. Downtown Rockford offers a wide selection of specialty stores, offers more than two dozen diverse restaurants and multiple options for engaging entertainment.
Getting Here and Getting Around
Access to the Rockford region is easy enough, with several major roadways and cities with international airports nearby. Chicago is only an hour-and-a-half away, Madison, Wisconsin one hour, Milwaukee one-and-a-half-hours, Indianapolis four hours, St. Louis four-and-a-half-hours, and Minneapolis and St. Paul five hours.
By Car: Rockford is readily accessible via Interstates 90 and 39 or U.S. Highway 20.
By Air: The largest nearby airport would be O’Hare International Airport, an hour’s drive away. Chicago Rockford International Airport is the second largest and within Rockford itself.
The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau in conjunction with the Rockford Park District provided a first-class venue and excellent support for our Division III College Championships. The service provided along with the hospitality shown has made Rockford one of our go-to places for future events.
– Byron Hicks, USA Ultimate Manager-Events
We had a fantastic experience working with the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau hosting the 2017 Synchronized Skating National Championships. The entire team at the RACVB was a tremendous resource in coordinating the activities with the numerous hotels, venues and restaurants throughout the area. It was a pleasure to work with such a dedicated team that truly wanted to make the event a special experience for the competitors and their families.
– Matt Kaplan, IBHC Events
The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau have always played an extremely important part in the success of our Tournaments throughout the years. The Service and Hospitality that they RACVB displays to our tournament participants is exceptional every single event that we run. Our Tournaments have continued to increase every single year and the RACVB plays a big part in that
– Frank Mateus, Puma Champions Cup Tournament Series