National Officials with the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association (NHPA) recently visited Springfield to assess how planning is coming for the 2009 World Horseshoe Tournament to be held in Springfield July 27th - August 8th 2009.
Mayor Tim Davlin, members of the Capital Area Sports Commission (CASC), Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB), Illinois Horseshoe Pitchers Association and others hosted a reception for the officials while they were in Springfield. "I've been pitching horseshoes since I was a kid," said Mayor Tim Davlin. "I'm excited to have the chance to watch these great pitchers in Springfield."
The Illinois Horseshoe Pitchers Association, the Capital Area Sports Commission, Prairie Capital Convention Center, Springfield Hotels and the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau have partnered to bring the event to Springfield. "The 2009 World Horseshoe Championship is the first major sporting event coming to Springfield with the assistance of the Capital Area Sports Commission," said Mike Aiello, Chairman of the CASC. "We are working closely with the NHPA to guarantee a successful tournament."
During the visit to Springfield, Stu Sipma, 5th Vice President for NHPA and Dick Hansen, Secretary-Treasurer, toured the Prairie Capital Convention Center to review the court layouts, office space and awards area. Fifty (50) portable courts and half the court supplies have already arrived in Springfield. 27 barrels of powder, totaling over 20,000 pounds, will be used to make the clay courts. Sipma and Hansen also toured the Springfield Hilton Hotel and the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel, two host hotels for the Tournament. "Having the tournament in Downtown Springfield will offer our participants a wide variety of options," said Stu Sipma with NHPA. "From the Lincoln sites, to restaurants and evening entertainment, our attendees will enjoy all Springfield has to offer."
The Capital Area Sports Commission has been actively fundraising and seeking sponsorships for the 2009 Tournament. The CASC and Illinois Horseshoe Pitchers Association held a raffle to raise funds for the tournament. Terry Hlavac from Chicago won the grand prize, a 5 night stay including dinner from the Springfield Hilton Hotel. "That is fantastic," said Hlavac. "My family and I are very excited about the tournament being in Springfield and look forward to spending time in the Capital City." Various sponsorships are available for the tournament. To contact the Capital Area Sports Commission regarding sponsorship, call Nadine Liberatore with the CASC at (217) 7414611.
Approximately 1200 – 1500 horseshoe pitchers will come to Springfield for the 2009 World Horseshoe Pitching Tournament with a total attendance expected of around 6000. During the 13 day event, the tournament will use over 4000 hotel rooms and will provide an estimated 1.3 million economic impact to the city.