Introducing UW Health Sports Factory: Where Athletes Are Built

The Rockford Park District, Winnebago County Regional Tourism Facility Board (WCRTFB), and City of Rockford announced that Sportscore Downtown, 305 S. Madison Street, Rockford, has been renamed thanks to a new naming rights partner.  The facility will now be called UW Health Sports Factory, a facility of the Rockford Park District.  

"We're very excited to make this announcement today,” said Dr. Bill Gorski, President and CEO of SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health. “This investment reflects our commitment to advancing downtown and continuing a proud and long-standing history of community partnerships." 

The UW Health Sports Factory name symbolizes the history of the site, as it was once the former Ingersoll factory located in the heart of a major manufacturing hub in Rockford.  The shell of the former factory still remains in place today.  Once construction is complete in May 2016, UW Health Sports Factory will be filled with athletes laboring over various sports, such as basketball and volleyball, or citizens finding ways to improve lifelong skills.  

"From the first time we were introduced to this project, we at UW Health believed this opportunity aligned perfectly with many of our core values: a compelling vision, strong partnerships, investment in local communities, and the highest quality programs and services," said Sue Ertl, Vice President of Regional System Integration for UW Health. "UW Health is pleased to have a role in this important facility as the naming partner."

The 10-year agreement will total $1,938,248 and includes naming rights to the downtown facility, including logo incorporation within exterior signage, print materials, web exposure, and the opportunity for UW Health employees to use the facility for designated employee events.  Rockford Park District will receive an annual fee beginning at $175,000, with subsequent increases tied to the local Consumer Price Index. The deal was brokered by Cleveland based The Superlative Group, who served as naming rights agent on behalf of the Rockford Park District.  “It’s wonderful to see two distinguished leaders in the community come together like this, everyone wins,” said Kyle Canter, Chief Operating Officer at The Superlative Group. In addition to the new name, a new website has also been launched. For information about UW Health Sports Factory, visit www.uwhealthsportsfactory.com.

“We are thrilled to start this new partnership with an organization that is committed to excellence in healthcare, and has been a staple in our community since 1911, not too long after the Rockford Park District was formed in 1909. The Rockford Park District strives to be the best urban parks and recreation system in North America as judged by the citizens we serve. We are committed to creating more formal partnerships with community organizations to serve more citizens by stretching the District’s resources further,” said Rockford Park District Executive Director Tim Dimke.

About UW Health Sports Factory

•    108,000 square feet
•    96,000 square feet hard court surface
•    Parking: 1,000+ within 1/4 mile
•    14 volleyball courts plus two championship volleyball courts
•    7 basketball courts plus one championship basketball court
•    16 wrestling mats
•    42 pickleball courts

•    Seating: up to 3,700 spectators
•    Portable bleachers
•    Event plaza
•    Full service sports bar/restaurant
•    5 meeting rooms
•    Trade show space
•    Riverfront boardwalk and seating
•    Bus, truck, pedestrian access

About UW Health

SwedishAmerican is a division of UW Health, an organization with a common mission, vision, values and culture. Every day, specialists from UW Health are right here in Rockford. UW Health is an academic health system associated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It encompasses the research, education, and patient care activities that take place at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and within UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority. UW School of Medicine and Public Health is the nation's only combined school of medicine and public health. Its 1,500 faculty in 10 basic science and 17 clinical departments engage in research, education, and clinical care at UW hospitals and clinics, other Madison hospitals, and approximately 90 regional locations.

About Reclaiming First

Reclaiming First is a community-wide comprehensive plan to enhance and enlarge the sports facilities in the Rockford area to reclaim the region’s dominance in sports tourism.  Amateur sports tourism at Sportscore One and Sportscore Two currently accounts for $15.25 million in income for the Rockford region that would otherwise not occur. Local municipalities receive an estimated $1.8 million in the form of direct additional general fund tax revenue from amateur sports tournaments. Further, income generated from amateur sports tournaments means local citizens are able to use these facilities at reduced or no cost.

The Winnebago County Regional Tourism Facility Board (WCRTFB) was formed to administer the hotel tax that helped fund the Reclaiming First initiative.  WCRTFB includes board/council members and chief elected officials and staff leaders from the Rockford Park District, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, City of Rockford, City of Loves Park, Village of Machesney Park, City of South Beloit, Village of Rockton, Village of Roscoe, Village of Cherry Valley, and Winnebago County.  For additional information on Reclaiming First, see www.reclaimingfirst.org.