SPRINGFIELD– Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) that will make significant investments in Rockford’s athletic facilities through the so-called “Reclaiming First” program is headed to the Governor for his signature.
Senate Bill 1859 will keep the region a destination for thousands who travel to the community to participate in competitive tournaments and leagues. Senator Syverson is co-sponsoring the legislation with Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford). Under the bill, Rockford, Winnebago County, and other municipalities in the county could finance expansion of athletic facilities. Those facilities host sports tournaments which pump millions of dollars into the local economy.
The House approved the legislation 77-38 Thursday. It passed the Senate last month. It now awaits action from Governor Quinn.
“I’m glad that after two years of work we have been successful in our efforts to help Reclaiming First thrive,” said Senator Syverson. “This is a good example of what can happen when leaders put party affiliation and geographical boundaries aside for the sake of the entire region.”
The project would create a flexible hard court, multi-sport indoor facility. It would also modernize the Sportscore Two facility by adding five artificial and lighted multi-purpose fields, seven artificial turf and lighted soccer fields, and one single-purpose turf and lighted softball diamond. In addition, they will retrofit the current Indoor Sports Center to include a second indoor field for soccer.
“This is not just a win for the Rockford area, but also for the State of Illinois as the local park district will keep its position as the top soccer facility in the Country. This will help create hundreds of direct and indirect long term jobs,” said Syverson.
Once the improvements are completed, Reclaiming First is expected to result in between $8-16 million in the region. The project will support 210 construction jobs and up to 250 annual new year-round full-time jobs.
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