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State budget stalemate slows Rockford sports tourism plans

September 8, 2015

LOVES PARK, Ill. (AP) — The Rockford area’s regional plans to boost sports tourism have slowed because the state government’s budget stalemate is holding up expansion of a major athletic facility.

The Sportscore Two facility in Loves Park is the top tourist attraction in the Rockford area, drawing more than 2.8 million visitors a year for tournaments and games.

Around 85 percent of the funding for expansion of the facility’s Indoor Sports Center is in place.

But the Rockford Register Star reports (http://bit.ly/1OspQUY ) the city can’t solicit construction bids until Gov. Bruce Rauner releases a $2.5 million state grant that’s on hold while lawmakers squabble over the state’s budget.

A coalition of local governments is pooling hotel tax receipts and other revenue to expand regional athletic facilities to maximize sports tourism in the area.

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Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com

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