The contract extension will keep the state finals at the NIU Convocation Center for an additional five years through 2018. The current contract expires at the end of the 2013 wrestling season.
“We are delighted to learn that the IESA has chosen to continue the relationship with the Convocation Center as host to the State Wrestling Championships,” said Norm Jenkins, acting director of the NIU Convocation Center. “NIU and the City of DeKalb have established a rich tradition with the IESA in hosting this event. We believe this continued commitment will help ensure a bright future for Illinois wrestling.”
“The Convocation Center is a perfect for sporting events,” stated Debbie Armstrong, director of the DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are fortunate to have such a great venue that can attract these types of events for our community.”
“We sincerely appreciate the working relationship we have with NIU and the Convocation Center,” said Steve Endsley, executive director of the IESA. “The Convocation Center is a beautiful facility that allows the wrestlers, coaches, parents, and fans to have a great experience when attending our state wrestling finals. I want to personally thank Norm Jenkins, acting director of the Convocation Center; Debbie Armstrong, executive director of the DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau Director; and Arch Richoz, State Final Tournament Manager for their support of the IESA wrestling program.”
“We thoroughly enjoy working with Steve Endsley and his staff,” added Armstrong. “We are very pleased that the IESA board voted to extend their contract to host the event through 2018.”
According to Armstrong, the IESA State Wrestling Championships fills between 300 and 400 hotel room nights and brings anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 visitors for the event on an annual basis. The economic estimated impact of the event on the community each year is approximately $125,000, and the total economic impact of winning this bid is approximately $500,000 over the span of the agreement.
“Through partnership, NIU and the City of DeKalb continue to establish our community as a destination of choice for major youth sports championships,” added Jenkins. “The IESA can rest assured that wrestling competitors and spectators alike will be treated to first-class experiences in DeKalb in the years to come.”
Earlier this year, the Illinois High School Association selected NIU’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb as the home for its football championship in odd-numbered years beginning in 2013 and extending through 2021.
“It takes a collaborative effort on the part of our hotels, venues, restaurants, retail shops and other businesses to welcome these visitors and ensure they have a wonderful experience,” Armstrong continued. “The bureau works hard to secure hotel blocks, provide visitor guides, maps and coupon books to groups as part of our free courtesy service.”