BELOIT - Visit Beloit announced two sporting events this summer expected to attract big crowds to the area - the U.S. Kubb Open to air on FOX Sports Wisconsin and the Flag Football World Championship Tour (FFWCT) to be held at the Rockton Athletic Complex.
In a news conference on Wednesday, Visit Beloit Director of Sales and Servicing Matt Bosen made the announcement. He was joined by Visit Beloit Executive Director Celestino Ruffini, Visit Beloit Director of Marketing and Public Relations Stacey Bodnar, President of Kubb United and tournament co-organizer Evan Fitzgerald and Rockton Planning and Development Administrator Tricia Diduch.
Bosen said the third annual U.S. Kubb Open will be held Saturday, Aug. 11 on the banks of the Rock River at Riverside Park. It will be the first televised Kubb tournament in the U.S. The regional sports network will have camera crews onsite to collect footage of the tournament with programming scheduled to debut in late August through early September.
By recording the Kubb event live on Fox Sports Wisconsin, the Beloit tournament will be aired to 1.7 million households.
"The media and viewership exposure received from airing on FOX Sports Wisconsin will be great for the U.S. Kubb Open and the Kubb community. It will put Beloit on the map as the go-to destination for this sport," Ruffini said.
Kubb is a growing sport, with Wisconsin being a hotbed for it. In 2017, Beloit saw 57 teams hailing from eight states, as well as Switzerland, compete for more than $1,600 in prize money. Organizers from Kubb United plan to grow the 2018 tournament even more.
Although Kubb has Scandinavian roots, it is played by various groups and nationalities.
"Kubb unites people," Fitzgerald said. "Part of the idea is to promote it across the U.S., and Beloit has been a big part of that."
Visit Beloit has partnered with the FFWCT to host Battle Wisconsin June 23-24 at the Rockton Athletic Complex. The tournament is open to local teams as well as those from across the country. The FFWCT Battle Series event is one of 30 events in the U.S. and Canada, including the World Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana, that will take place in 2018.
The FFWCT Battle Series is the largest prize flag football circuit in the world with players competing for cash prizes in excess of $100,000 during the series.
Bosen said the FFWCT could attract 50 to 100 teams, with up to 2,500 people when counting fans and families. While the hotel stays will be primarily in Beloit, restaurants, stores and other businesses from across the Stateline Area will reap the benefits.
The economic impact for each person coming through Beloit for the events would be $170-plus a night, spent on hotels, restaurants and other purchases.
In addition to both events being a boon for business owners, Bosen said the event will be a great way for people to see the city's many developments and amenities.