Sports tourism is a critically important business sector for the Quad Cities. The sports tourism industry has repeatedly proven it yields positive results for this regional destination. Sports events help drive the QC’s visitor economy, increase brand image, and improve quality of life. Sports events represent an annual local economic impact of nearly $60 million for the Quad Cities.
As Visit Quad Cities, the region’s official destination management and marketing organization (DMMO), reinvigorates its sports tourism direction, they announced today a newly reorganized and reimagined Quad Cities Sports Commission, now known as Sports QC Powered By Visit Quad Cities.
Sports QC Powered By Visit Quad Cities will continue leading the region's sports tourism and overall strategy for sports in the region. Sports QC remains a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and division of Visit Quad Cities that operates as the official sports commission by attracting, hosting, creating, and facilitating sporting events, tourism, and opportunities for the region. Initially formed in 1995, the Quad Cities Sports Commission was created to attract, host, and support the region's amateur and professional sports events. It was the first official sports commission in Illinois.
“Sports tourism is vital to our future positioning as a dynamic region on the move,” said Dave Herrell, President and CEO, Visit Quad Cities. “We have not slowed down our sales & marketing efforts of this important vertical even through the pandemic, but it is time to reinvigorate and put some increased intentionality with this direction. We are in a competitive race against other communities in the Midwest and the entire country. The only way to be relevant is a meaningful private/public partnership to create more opportunities and value for the Quad Cities. Sports QC will need increased investment, collaboration, and teamwork to grow and drive economic development, visibility, community programming, and improve quality of life.”
In 2019, Visit Quad Cities engaged Huddle Up Group to assess the region’s current sports tourism market and provide a Sports Tourism Strategic Plan to strengthen the region’s competitive identity. Following the new “playbook” of recommendations, Visit Quad Cities organized a task force of community members to establish an enriched sports tourism support system. Their work developed a new mission, vision, brand, governance structure, priorities, and website.
Sports QC Mission: Sports QC Powered By Visit Quad Cities serves to inspire, build, promote, and share the Quad Cities story to benefit our region. We do this by creating quality of life experiences, economic prosperity, and visibility for our community through sports events and tourism.
Sports QC Vision: To become a premier sports tourism destination.
- Create a positive experience for our clients, rights holders, event owners, and stakeholders
- Bid, recruit, host, and create events that deliver a meaningful impact on our destination
- Drive regional economic prosperity and enhance the quality of life and place
- Build the QC’s brand as a memorable and inspired host destination
- Instill a sense of community and civic pride for all Quad Citizens
- Through sports, establish a long-term legacy for the Quad Cities sports landscape
Sports QC Advisory Group
The new Sports QC Advisors are a talented and passionate team of corporate leaders in the Quad Cities regional destination. Their role is to provide leadership and support the mission, purpose, and priorities of Sports QC Powered By Visit Quad Cities.
“I look forward to working with the Sports QC Advisory Group,” said Todd Hajduk, General Manager/Director of Golf, TPC Deere Run and Chair, Sports QC Advisory Group. "The Visit Quad Cities staff have done significant work behind the scenes to get us to this point. The Advisory Group will be the foundation for a strong focus on sports tourism, leading to increased economic development and paying dividends to the entire community."
- Sara Cross, First Tee of the Quad Cities
- Eric Griffith, City of Moline Parks & Recreation
- Todd Hajduk, TPC Deere Run and Visit Quad Cities Board of Directors
- Ryan Hintze, Iron Tee Golf | Corn Belt Capital
- Mike Holmes, St. Ambrose University
- Andrew Lehman, John Deere Classic
- Scott Mullen, Vibrant Arena at The MARK
- Jeff Reiter, City of Bettendorf
- Emily Skahill, Frontier Hospitality
- Laura Wittnebel, TBK Bank Quad Cities Marathon
- Mike Zapolski, Augustana College
“The sports tourism sector is hyper-competitive with over 500 destinations vying to host all types of sporting events,” said Joan Kranovich, Vice President, Business Growth & Director, Sports QC. “Sports QC Powered by Visit Quad Cities will continually promote the Quad Cities to event rights holders. We will be the team working daily to identify and host new sporting events that will be great for quality of life and our destination’s future. We will also continue to build upon the solid relationships we have at the national level, as well as statewide partners at Team Iowa and Sports Illinois, to further leverage our sports goals and objectives.”
Coinciding with the unveiling of the new Sports QC Powered By Visit Quad Cities, a new website is launched at SportsQuadCities.com. Visit Quad Cities partnered with TAG, a local design and marketing agency, to build the site. This website is an important marketing, promotional, and sales platform that serves as a resource for sports planners and event owners interested in our unique destination.
The new website has a bold design that introduces the Sports QC brand. Seamless navigation helps sports planners and event rights holders learn about the QC sports landscape, venues, event possibilities, and services provided. Vibrant images and new video content give a positive first impression of our family of communities, and an online QC Game Plan guide for a quick review and easy printing of sports information about the Quad Cities as a sports destination.
Bring It Here
Quad Citizens are encouraged to submit suggestions for sporting events they attend or participate in outside the Quad Cities that could be hosted in our region. If you have an event idea, go to the Get Involved section on SportsQuadCities.com and click on the Bring It Here link.
The Quad Cities is rich in sports history and known for our love of sports. Our family of communities holds a compelling number of annual signature events, supports professional sports teams, cheers on local student-athletes, and is home to a wide variety of sports facilities that offer the space and flexibility to host a multitude of sporting events.
This local sports pride has created many stakeholders with a supportive teamwork mentality to make the Quad Cities a significant sports tourism destination in the Midwest. This support for sports tourism will drive more economic development and can improve opportunities for local user groups.
Sports QC has welcomed a variety of amateur, professional, regional, state, and national events that drive value and positive benefits for our community. The experienced team behind Sports QC knows how to compete, manage, and organize sports events. Here are a few of the sporting events we have hosted in the Quad Cities.
- Missouri Valley Women’s Basketball Tournament
- NAIA Men’s/Women’s Golf Championships
- JP Sports Baseball/Softball Tournaments
- Iowa Soccer Association Championships
- American Cue Championships
- Rocky Mountain National Wrestling Events
- Professional Disc Golf Association Junior & Amateur World Championships
- The Walleye Federation MWC Championship
- USBC Iowa State Bowling Tournament
- USA BMX National & Gold Cup Finals
- ISC Men’s Fastpitch World Tournament
- USSSA World Series
- American Junior Golf Association Open Events
- Dek Hockey 3v3 National Tournaments
Some upcoming scheduled sporting events include:
- March 9-12: MVC Women’s Basketball Championships
- March 10-12: March Madness Baseball Tournament and Midnight Madness Baseball Tournaments
- March 11-12: 2023 Queen of Quad City Junior Volleyball Tournament
- March 17-19: Shamrock Slugfest Baseball Tournament and Midnight Madness Baseball Tournament
- March 17-19: Softball High School Jamboree
- March 24-26: Swing Into Spring Baseball Tournament and Midnight Madness Baseball Tournaments
- April 23-25: MVC Men’s Golf Championships
- April 27-29: Soccer Showcase Tournament of Champions
- May 5-7: DR7 Flag Football Tournament
- May 5-7: USA Gymnastics Trampoline & Tumbling Region 4 Championships
- May 19-21: U.S. Junior Nationals, 21st Annual MidAmerica Basketball Challenge
- May 23-26: NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship
- May 26-28: Professional Disc Golf Association A-Tier The Rumble
- May 27-29: 2023 Spring Soccer Championship Series Iowa State Cup & Presidents Cup
- May 29: Kwik Star Criterium
- June 7-11: 2023 International Snowmobile Congress
- June 9-11: Soccer Showcase Tournament
- June 17: Quad City Triathlon
- June 23-25: Soccer Showcase Tournament
- July 5-9: John Deere Classic
- July 16-20: Luther College Wrestling Camp
- July 29: Quad-City Times Bix 7
- July 29: RAGBRAI
About Sports QC
Sports QC Powered By Visit Quad Cities is a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and division of Visit Quad Cities that operates as the official sports commission by attracting, hosting, creating, and facilitating sporting events, tourism, and opportunities for the region. Learn more at SportsQuadCities.com.