'Hawks boost area’s economy and youth baseball
« Back
June 24, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – This season more than 300 baseball games will be played at Road Ranger Stadium, the home for the Rockford RiverHawks, but most of them will not even be RiverHawk games. These events are having a tremendous positive economic impact on the Rockford area, promoting youth baseball and benefitting the RiverHawks.

In the past five weeks Road Ranger Stadium has hosted a youth round-robin tournament, a Rockford College home game, the Northern Athletic Conference postseason tournament, a high-school super-sectional tournament, and a Northern Illinois University game. Oh yes, there was the RiverHawks’ first homestand of the season too.

The packed schedule for Road Ranger Stadium means good things for the Rockford area. RiverHawks General Manager Josh Olerud said tournaments that require an overnight stay provide a significant boost for the area’s economy. He estimates that nearly $100,000 has been generated just on the number of people who have spent a night in a hotel in Rockford. That number is based on a Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau formula that estimates $180 spent per person per night by people visiting the Stateline to play or see baseball at the stadium, eat at local restaurants and stay at local hotels.

New outreach to youth baseball programs for American Legion baseball and other 18-under traveling leagues is a significant part of that number. More than 70 teams from six different states will participate throughout the year in these events facilitated by Fletcher Baseball, Pastime Sports, and the RiverHawks’ own Wooden Bat Showcase. In addition, 11 Rockford RiverHawks’ Round Robin tournaments for 12-under leagues will bring in 40 teams from outside the Rockford area.

The profit from tournaments is not just economic, and that is the RiverHawks’ goal.
“It is imperative that the RiverHawks use all of their resources to help kids play more baseball,” said Chris Daleo, RiverHawks Director of Operations. Daleo has spearheaded the efforts to bring in these tournaments. “There is nothing but benefits when kids play baseball,” he said.

High-school teams have already taken advantage of Road Ranger Stadium to earn money for their programs. Area teams were given a block of RiverHawks tickets to sell on consignment. In exchange, they were able to use Road Ranger Stadium for a game and kept half of the value of each ticket sold. A total of $30,000 was raised by 20 different high-school teams.

“It is important for us to reach out to the community,” Olerud said. “What better way is there than a program that benefits both parties? I hope this continues to grow each year.”

The Rockford RiverHawks are the most highly attended minor-league baseball team in the Stateline. The RiverHawks are members of the Frontier League, a 12-team independent professional baseball league playing its 17th season this summer. The RiverHawks are in their eighth season and will host the 2009 Frontier League All-Star Game at 7:05 p.m. on July 15. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks at
 Search Archives
Search for:

Browse archives

©2006, Rockford RiverHawks. All rights reserved.