ROCKFORD (WREX) — Rockford will be the home of the 2019 North American Olympic Table Tennis Trials and the city’s tourism organization announces a major line-up of events to celebrate it.
The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau said created three events to support Rockford’s first-ever Olympic trials, which will be held at the BMO Harris Bank Center on Oct. 5.
“The more we can blend that resident and visitor marketing approach and activation approach, the better we are as a tourism entity, the stronger our product is here in Rockford,” RACVB Director of Sports Development Nick Povalitis said.
The following is information on each of the three events provided by the RACVB:
The RKFD Loop is a four-stop recreational table tennis tournament that will crown the 2019 RKFD Rec-Pong Champion. The qualifying series will take place for four weeks in September, with one tournament per week on Thursdays at area bars and sports pubs. Entry is free with draws limited to a maximum of 16 players per location. Players can register onsite at each participating bar. The four qualifier winners will advance to play in a Final Four city championship tournament on Saturday, October 5 with the semifinals (2:30 p.m.) and finals (6:30 p.m.) at the BMO Harris Bank Center, the site of the Olympic Trials.
RKFD Loop Dates and Locations (Tournament play begins each night at 7 p.m.)
- Sept. 5 – Hope and Anchor
- Sept. 12 – Casey’s Pub
- Sept. 19 – Olympic Tavern
- Sept. 26 – District Bar & Grill
Free giveaways will be provided at each stop. Qualifier winners will win four free tickets to the 2019 ITTF North American Olympic Table Tennis Trials and will play on the floor at BMO Harris Bank Center on October 5. The 2019 RKFD Loop Rec-Pong Champion will receive a trophy and other surprises.
CITY MARKET CELEBRITY SMASH
Join us at the City Market on Friday, September 20 for the City Market Celebrity Smash, an event that will feature eight of Rockford’s biggest local celebrities competing for bragging rights and city supremacy. First serve is at 5:30 p.m. at the Indoor City Market, adjacent to the outdoor City Market space.
The RACVB will also be onsite with surprise giveaways for fans and spectators throughout the night.
RALLY RKFD, presented by Northwest Bank
RALLY RKFD is Rockford’s official FREE all-ages pre-Trials festival taking place on Saturday, October 5. Gates open at 11 a.m. on Main Street between Mulberry and Elm Streets. The festival will include food and beverages, music, table tennis, bounce houses and a ceremonial ping pong ball drop at the intersection of State and Main.
The ping pong ball drop is open for community participation. Individual ping pong balls may be purchased for $5, and a five-pack for $20. Balls can be purchased online at www.RockfordOlympicTrials.com, or in person at the RACVB or the BMO Harris Bank Center box office Tuesday, September 3. The dropped balls closest to the target will win cash prizes of $500 for first place, $250 for second and $100 for third. All net proceeds of RALLY RKFD benefit RACVB’s Charitable Foundation.
Festival gates will close at 3 p.m., paving the way for the community to rally to the BMO Harris Bank Center for the 2019 ITTF North American Olympic Table Tennis Trials.
The RACVB, BMO Harris Bank Center and ITTF North America welcome all regional residents to become part of the city’s sports history by attending the Olympic Trials and supporting Team USA. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit:www.RockfordOlympicTrials.com. All-day passes or single session passes (3 p.m. or 7 p.m.) are available for purchase.