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About us

Sports Illinois Huddle is an educational conference for Sports Illinois, a niche committee of the Illinois Council of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.  It is comprised of CVBs and Sports Commissions with designated personnel that actively attract sport tournaments and events to their region. Each year, tournament directors and events rights holders are issued invitations to take part in this two-day conference to connect with over twenty Illinois CVBs and Sports Commissions. 

This year’s Sports Illinois Huddle will feature an appointment-based trade show for sports directors and CVB representatives to discuss upcoming events and tournaments. The Huddle will also offer exciting guest speakers from the sports industry, educational sessions for attendees to learn about new trends and ideas, as well as a multitude of networking opportunities. 



Lindsay Arellano


huddle Location

Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Rockford
Rockford, IL


huddle dates

May 20-22, 2018


Tuesday, May 22, 2018:














Sunday, May 20, 2018:


  • CVB & rights holder conference check-in at The Radisson Hotel (host hotel)
  • Kickoff Party at West Rock Wake Park (Cable Wake Boarding Park) watch demos by pros and learn about cable wakeboarding while enjoying an evening outdoor party!  

MONDAY, MAY 21, 2018:


  • CVB & rights holder conference check-in at host hotel
  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Conference kick off / welcome at host hotel
  • Speaker (TBD)



  • The Monday night experience will take place at the Chicagoland Skydiving Center (CSC)   in Rochelle, IL. Take flight with a tandem skydive, and if it’s not your thing, watch your colleagues land from the Flight Deck Bar & Grill.  (no cost to rights holders/tournament directors).
  • Upon return to the hotel join us in the late-night hospitality room to wrap up the night



Host Hotel

Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Rockford
200 S. Bell School Rd.
Rockford, IL 61108

If you are a Rights Holder, Sports Illinois will provide your hotel accommodations at no charge.

If you are a Sports Comission or CVB, please make your hotel arrangements directly with the hotel.

Please make your hotel reservations by Sunday, April 22nd!

GPS Coordinates

LAT: 42.268648
LONG: -88.96899


Chicago Rockford International Airport


  • Bloomington-Normal, IL - 131 miles - 2 to 2-1/2 hours - Go north on I-39
  • Champaign-Urbana, IL - 190 miles - 3 to 3-1/2 hours - Go northwest on I-74 to Bloomington-Normal, then north on I-39
  • Chicago (downtown) - 90 miles - 1-1/2 to 2 hours - Go west on I-90
  • Chicago (O'Hare) - 60 miles - 60 minutes - Go west on I-90
  • Des Moines, IA - 240 miles - 4-1/2 hours - Go east on I-80 to the Quad Cities, then east on I-88 to Rochelle, and north on I-39
  • Detroit, MI - 350 miles - 6 hours - Go west on I-94 to Chicago, then west on I-90
  • Dubuque, IA - 90 miles - 2 to 2-1/2 hours - Go east on US Highway 20
  • Indianapolis, IN - 260 miles - 5 hours - Go west on I-74 to Bloomington-Normal, then north on I-39
  • Milwaukee, WI - 100 miles - 1-1/2 to 2 hours - Go south on I-43 to Beloit, and east on I-90 to Rockford
  • Minneapolis, MN - 345 miles - 5 to 5-1/2 hours - Go east on I-94 to Madison, then east on I-90
  • Peoria, IL - 135 miles - 2-1/2 hours - Go west on US Highway 24 to El Paso, then north on I-39
  • Quad Cities, IL & IA - 125 miles - 2 hours - Go east on I-88 to Rochelle, then north on I-39
  • Springfield, IL - 207 miles - 3 to 3-1/2 hours - Go north on I-55 to Bloomington-Normal, then north on I-39


previous speakers

John Althoff – Sponsorship Coordinator, State Farm
Denise Wilmer-Barreto – Program Development, Sears
Connie Kowal – Connie Kowal Consulting
Ryan McDonough – Chicago Cubs
Bill Scherr – Director of Sport, World Sport Chicago
Dan Migala – Publisher, The Migala Report
Douglas Freeland – Director, McDonald’s All-American Games
Anne Hornyak – Senior Social Media Strategist, Sparkloft Media
Scott Paddock – President, Chicagoland Speedway
Tory Lindley – Director of Athletic Training Services, Northwestern           University
Drew Russell – Vice President of Sports Properties, Intersport
Brad Traviolia – Deputy Commissioner, Big Ten Conference
Kelly Kraft – Executive Director, Illinois Sports Facilities Authority
Kevin Coe – Manager of Youth Baseball Initiatives, Chicago White             Sox
Scott Howard – Vice President-Sales & Marketing, Chicagoland                 Speedway
Jeff Jarnecke – Director of Championships and Alliances, NCAA
Carey Pinkowski – Executive Race Director, Bank of American                   Chicago Marathon
Andrew Lehman - Assistant Tournament Director, John Deere Classic
Andrew Chesser - General Manager, Quad Cities River Bandits
Cory Jobe - Director, Illinois Office of Tourism
Mike Lopez - News Director, WHBF
Marc Nesseler - Sports Editor, Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus

Special Guests:
Larry Smith – Sports Anchor, CNN
Randy Hundley – former Chicago Cubs catcher
Dan Hampton – NFL Hall of Famer, Chicago Bears
Donnell Woolford – former Chicago Bears defensive back
Shaun Gayle – former Chicago Bears defensive back
Ron Kittle – 1983 MLB American League Rookie of the Year
Frank Thomas – MLB Hall of Famer, Chicago White Sox
Dale Jarrett – NASCAR Hall of Famer, ESPN Analyst
Lee Smith – former MLB pitcher
Ryne Sandburg - MLB Hall of Famer, Chicago Cubs
Mitch Holthus - Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs, ESPN Basketball

Previous Sites

2009: Lincolnshire Marriott - Lincolnshire, IL
2012: Renaissance Schaumburg - Schaumburg, IL
2013: Wyndham Lisle - Lisle, IL
2014: Doubletree Alsip - Alsip, IL
2017: Holiday Inn Rock Island - Rock Island, IL

Previous rights holders

3 Disciplines
A.G.A. Nation
AAU Beach Volleyball
AAU Karate
Adrenaline Sports
Amateur Athletic Union
Amateur Softball Association
American Cornhole
American Junior Golf Association
Archery Tag
EVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour
Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail
Game Day USA
Illinois Senior Olympics
In the Game Consulting
International Distance Skateboard Association
JP Sports
National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association
National Collegiate Table Tennis Association
National Junior Prospects Hockey League
National Softball Association
North American Chinese Basketball Association
NXT Sports
Prairie State Cycling Series
Premier Baseball/Softball Events
PrimeTime Sports
Professional Disc Golf Association
Race Director University, Inc.
Rugby Illinois
Sparks Softball
Special Olympics Illinois
Stars of Tomorrow Basketball
United Darts Alliance
US Youth Bowling – Illinois
USA Sports Production
USA Track & Field – Illinois
USA Ultimate
United States Australian Football League
United States Specialty Sports Association – Illinois
Waupaca Boatride/US Open of Grass Volleyball
World Baseball & Softball Association
World Sports League



Rights holders are invited to attend the 2018 Sports Illinois Huddle on May 20-22 in Rockford, IL.  The Huddle allows you to meet with several CVB representatives from throughout the State of Illinois.  The Sports Illinois Huddle is similar to the TEAMS Conference and the NASC Symposium in regards to having one-on-one appointments, industry seminars, key-note speakers, and off-site entertainment.  At the Huddle, sports tourism professionals and industry leaders will convene to share resources, strategies, and more. 

2018 Sports Illinois representation includes: Alton, Aurora, Bloomington-Normal, Champaign County, Chicago Southland, Decatur, Galesburg, Heritage Corridor, Illinois South, Kankakee, Lake County, Meet Chicago Northwest, Rockford, and Visit SI. 

  • Registration for the Huddle is free for one rights holder representative to attend. This includes hotel room, meals, and entertainment.
  • The only cost rights holders are responsible for is the travel costs to and from the conference.  

Sports Illinois Huddle Host Impact Grant

The purpose of the annual Sports Illinois Huddle Host Impact Grant—launched in partnership with the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) in 2018—is to provide the host community’s area nonprofit(s) the opportunity to access grant funding from Sports Illinois that is earmarked for positively impacting sports programs locally. In 2018, RACVB Charitable Foundation has agreed to a matching grant of $1,000, elevating the available grant funding to a maximum total of $2,000.

Grant Application