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Armstrong: Sporting events generate big revenue

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 10:13 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 10:40 a.m. CDT

The DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau is proud to help welcome the 4,000 to 5,000 visitors who will travel to the area for the Illinois Elementary School Association Boys State Wrestling Championship on Friday and Saturday at Northern Illinois University’s Convocation Center.

IESA Executive Director Steve Endsley has been working with our bureau, tournament manager Arch Richoz and the Convocation Center staff to plan the event since last spring, when the group’s board of directors voted to extend its contract with NIU to host the championships through 2018.

“We sincerely appreciate the working relationship we have with NIU and the Convocation Center,” Endsley said. “The Convocation Center is a beautiful facility that allows our wrestlers, coaches, parents and fans to have a great experience when attending our state wrestling finals.”

On Thursday, the IESA officials will arrive to work with the 150-plus DeKalb Wrestling Club volunteers led by Richoz, and the Convocation staff to prepare for the event.

More than 450 hotel rooms have already been booked to accommodate the competitors, coaches, officials, families and fans during this eagerly anticipated annual event.

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. They will be on sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Convocation Center. Parking costs $5.

IHSA Basketball Supersectionals

IHSA Basketball Supersectionals will return to the NIU Convocation Center tonight and March 12. Approximately 8,000 visitors will come to see the Class 1A and 2A teams compete at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. today. Supersectionals for Class 3A and 4A teams will be held March 12. General admission tickets cost $10 and parking costs $5.

Kish Family YMCA hosts 70 swim teams

The DCCVB also is happy to welcome back the IL/MO Swim Meet on March 15 through 17. We’ve been working with Brian Bickner at the Kishwaukee Family YMCA to block hotel rooms for the officials, swimmers and their families for the past three months. More than 70 teams and approximately 4,000 visitors will travel to the area to cheer on their swimmers.

The DCCVB provides all guests with a free DeKalb County Visitor Guide and coupon book to help make their visit more enjoyable. All of the sporting events combined will generate more than $250,000 for the area from hotel nights, dining, shopping and gasoline.

IHSA Destination DeKalb update

We are approximately 270 days from hosting our first IHSA state football championships at NIU’s Huskie Stadium. One of the most prestigious and well-attended events hosted by the IHSA, the football championships will generate an estimated economic impact of $500,000 to $800,000 while the publicity and visibility for the county will be priceless.

The IHSA Destination DeKalb Host Committee will be out in force in March working to solicit sponsorship dollars and volunteers from the community and the surrounding region to provide a memorable experience for the 32,000 visitors expected to travel here Nov. 29 to 30. To find out more about sponsorships packages, send email to or

We are asking everyone to join in the fun and get involved to welcome these visitors to the area. Volunteers are needed to help as ushers, ticket takers, parking attendants, hospitality tent greeters, and team greeters. Volunteers can sign up today at

• Debbie Armstrong is executive director of the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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