Kankakee County, IL – If you didn’t show up to the 2019 “Illinois. Are you up for Amazing?” Chicago Bears Training Camp a football fan, you sure left one. The Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) confirmed an uptick in attendance to the tune of 59,525, over 20,000 more than in 2018 when 39,450 fans came out. Eight public practices were held on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University, two less than in 2018.
“Many hotels across the county saw an increase in the number of overnights stays due to early morning practices,” Scott Billadeau, General Manager at the Holiday Inn Express and Kankakee County Lodging Association CVB board appointee reported. “It was a great couple weeks and we were glad to host so many Chicago Bears fans.”
Each year, campers flock to Bearbonnais to catch an inside look at the upcoming season and with a 12-4 record and an NFC North title for the first time since 2010 last fall, it’s no surprise that fans were planning a trip to Kankakee County.
“Training Camp is an opportunity for Kankakee County to roll out the red carpet for fans,” Staci Wilken, Executive Director at the CVB, remarked. “Visitors come as a fan of the Chicago Bears…our goal is that they leave a fan of Kankakee County.”
And all these visitors normally grab a bite to eat, gas up the car and spend money in our communities. According to the CVB’s economic impact calculator, it’s estimated that the almost 60,000 fans contributed close to $1.8 million in economic impact during the three weeks camp was in session.