Fastpitch softball tourneys coming to Q-Cs

The International Softball Conference announced that the ISC Tournament of Champions will be held this Aug. in Moline. The tournament will be held in the Quad Cities for the first time since the 1970s. In the photo from left are: Ken Hackmeister, President, International Softball Congress (ISC), Steve Kaiser, Sean Marten, Bill Kranz and Jim Williamson. Photo: John Greenwood

Daniel Makarewicz,

A discussion lasting nearly three years finally ended with good news on Wednesday.

Quad Cities will once again host a high-profile softball tournament.

The International Softball Congress announced during a press conference at the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel in Bettendorf that the Quad Cities will host the Men’s World Fastball Tournament and the ISC II Tournament of Champions in August.

The World Tournament will be held at the Greenvalley Complex in Moline, while the ISC Tournament will compete at the Campbell Complex in Rock Island.

“We know that there’s a history, a tradition, a following that our sport has known here and we’re hoping to capitalize on that history,” said ISC Executive Director Ken Hackmeister.

Rock Island hosted the ISC World Tournament a record 10 times in a 13-year span between 1961 and 1973.

“We knew we had the fan base and people interested in it,” QCCVB Vice President Lynn Hunt said. “We saw it as an opportunity to bring an adult sporting event that would cause a fabulous economic impact. We really thought the community support it with there connection. We thought it was a natural fit.”

The contract, which was signed last October, stipulates that the Quad Cities will host the 2009 tournament and will have an option to host again in 2011. The option must be exercised before Jan. 1, 2009, Hackmeister said.

“If they’re not going to hold in 2011, we’ve got to use the 2009 tournament to solicit other bidders,” he said. “In a way it puts them in a disadvantage. But on the other hand, we don’t want to put ourselves in a disadvantage.”

Hunt said the QCCVB started the bidding process in 2005 “just to find out exactly what it would take to bring the event here.” The committee toured the 2007 and 2008 tournaments – which were held in Kitchener, Ontario, and Kimberly, Wisc., respectively — to “get a good idea of what was expected,” she said.

Hackmeister said the Quad Cities’ bid was appealing because “they were a CVB-operating committee” and had “a history” of hosting this event.

“We know the fans support it,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of ex-players living in this area and we just felt like it was an ideal location.”

Hackmeister said the World Tournament would use two fields of the four fields at Greenvalley and the ISC World Tournament will utilize all four fields at Campbell.

The two tournaments were originally going to be played simultaneously at Greenvalley, but the ISC recommended that the two be separated for fan and player safety, according to Hackmeister.

Hackmeister said Midland, Mich., Eau Claire, Wisc., Allentown, Pa., and Mankato, Minn., all placed bids to host the 2009 tournament.

The tournament will mark the second straight summer the Quad Cities have hosted a national tournament. In August, the USA/ASA Girls’ Class A 18-Under Fast Pitch Tournament was held at Greenvalley.

Hunt said the QCCVB made that a huge selling point.

“I think it gave confidence to the ISC that we’ve hosted the ASA and other large events,” she said. “They know that we have the people, the infrastructure to support it and the volunteers. I think it gave them the confidence to say, ‘Yeah, the Quad Cities can host it.’”

Comments are closed.