Testimonials, Tradeshows & Professional Affiliations
Our clients’ success is of the utmost importance to us. See what sports planners are saying about the Chicago Southland.
"We've been here for the last six years; we've built every year, we've just got more and more teams out here. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that you can drive to this location.... [and] it's like we're family to be honest. Whatever we need, [the Chicago Southland CVB and Chicago Gaelic Park] provided tons of resources for us, and I think over the years it's gotten better and better. It's not 'I have to call the Sergeant or the Fire Marshal,' I'm calling Bob, I know these people on a first name basis now. It's like we're building a family."
-- Kara Cole, Event Staff at NXL Paintball
"Well this is our home, MWAGA was founded about 20 years ago, [and] we've had other courses here in the Midwest, but we keep coming back here. We came back here after the closing of Pheasant Run, we looked for a new course, [and] this suits us. The organization here does great work with the volunteers. A lot of our members of our organization are veterans as well, so it kind of worked in a place of having veterans play with our organization. Coming to the Chicago Southland area is outstanding because they can come right off [I-57], right off [I-80], even right off [I-94] coming up from the Michigan, Indiana area. Absolutely positive! This has been a great event. Being a partner with the Chicago Southland CVB, they've helped us procure a great relationship with our hotels, great relationships with some of the local businesses that we've been able to not only invite to come as a part of our outing, but to be long time sponsors as we're going on our third year now here in the [Chicago] Southland area."
-- Brad Schubert, President, Midwestern Amputee Golf Association
"It's been good to be returning. [The Midwest is] one of the founding homes of wheelchair softball, it's been nice to come back to a homebase for us.... there's so much to offer, from the field, the restaurants, the ease of travel for everyone, the culture itself has been so inclusive to wheelchair softball. Fans stop by to watch it, families can get here... when you start increasing that ease of travel, restaurants, hotels, [etc.], you see that participation explode... we’ve got [a team from Japan] and 19 teams state-side [from Nebraska, Minnesota, Tulsa, etc.]"
-- Brendan Downes, President of USA Wheelchair Softball
"Everyone's been fantastic, the CVB has done a great job of helping us [get the word out] that we're a charity aspect with South Suburban Humane Society. The people of Midlothian [and the town] have been great to work with. Great fields, great complex, all the players really love it. We like the [Chicago Southland] because of the fact that we have a lot of teams from Indiana. The tournament was born [and spent 32 years] there, and when we were looking for fields when we took the tournament over in 2018, we really found that Memorial Park here in Midlothian was a really great spot... just a really great place with a great concession stand, great people and just everyone has rave reviews about the actual facilities as well."
-- Nate Hansen, World Wiffle Ball Championship
“I’m originally from here, so for me it’s a homecoming. [The Chicago Southland] has so much to offer, from a cultural [and] sports perspective, so being able to get here and play and have kids from all over the country come here, it’s exciting… to enjoy the facilities and the actual talent that’s in this area. I let them know that there’s a lot of cultural experiences, entertainment experiences… people can come and see how pretty the area is.”
-- Eric Barber, NAWBL Wisconsin Thunder Player, Paralympian, NWBA Player
"This year's 2019 national championships, we brought to the Chicago Southland with the help of the Chicago Southland CVB. Joel was a really giant help in our decision to bring it to this community. We visited several times and loved the area. We partnered up with 350 Brewing for the use of this massive warehouse to turn it into a giant beard competition. We have competitors coming from all over the country; we've got someone coming from Iceland, a couple people from the United Kingdom, some people from Canada. Everyone's enjoying the area and we're really happy to have the event here."
-- Bryan Nelson, Creative Director, Beard Team USA and Event Organizer, 2019 National Beard and Moustache Championships
"We’re here at the Odyssey Golf Foundation golf course in Chicago Southland, Illinois, about to host the 19th annual Midwestern Amputee Golf Association’s All-Disability Open. This tournament is a two-day tournament, 36 holes, which features 59 amputees from all over the United States, and some of the best amputee golfers here in the United States. This is our first year working with the Odyssey Golf Club Foundation and it’s beginning to start a long partnership, and also our first year working with the Chicago Southland CVB. The partnerships so far with both organizations have been wonderful. They’ve allowed us to do so many things that we did not have the opportunity to do before this year, especially reaching out to new players and groups that we had not had the opportunity to before."
-- Brad Schubert, President, Midwestern Amputee Golf Association
"I’m in Midlothian, at Memorial Park, which is our complex for this year and for the next four years, to celebrate the 40th World Wiffle Ball Championship. We’ve had a great partnership with Midlothian. The fields are great, the concession stand keeps everybody hydrated. We’ve also had a great partnership with the Chicago Southland CVB, which has really helped us out with marketing, getting more eyes on our sport and throwing the tournament here in Midlothian. We’re looking forward to being here for at least the next four years and we hope to see everybody at a future tournament."
-- Mike Baniak, Commissioner, World Wiffle Ball Championship
"Welcome to the Oak Lawn Pavilion beach volleyball courts. We're here at the Great Lakes Championships. We have about 30 teams here participating on three courts. With the support of the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau we're able to bring these events to the south side and make a great day at the beach here in Oak Lawn."
-- Ross Balling, Tour Commissioner, EVP Academies
"This is our fourth year in Blue Island and our third year at this site, the waterfall along the Cal-Sag. The event’s come a long way since we first started. It was brought to Blue Island by the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau. Joel Koester reached out to us because we're along a perfect waterway to do an event like this. We're one of the few communities that have something like this not just in the Southland but really in the country. Joel brought us the event four years ago. We started with eight teams back then and we've grown it now to 20 teams for this year. We sold the event out for the first time ever and have 400 people coming to Blue Island for this event this year and we're hoping to continue to grow it. I think with the right staff, the right marketing and the right help from the Visitors Bureau again we can continue to build this thing. It has been a good partnership to help bring people to Blue Island and into the Southland."
-- Kevin Brown, Lead Organizer, Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival
"Today we're celebrating the 4th Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival here in Blue Island, Illinois. Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival is a collaboration between the Blue Island Park District, Great White North, Chicago Southland CVB and all the residents that live in and around our area."
-- William Cazares, Marketing Director, Blue Island Park District
"We are down here at the Dragon Boat Festival we are very excited to bring many walks of life from the Southland and everywhere else to Blue Island. This event brings people to Blue Island that don't get to enjoy Blue Island as much as we do This event brings us down to this waterfall that we don't get to enjoy too often where we can bring people from all over to enjoy this area that nobody gets to enjoy."
-- Teddy Ruthenberg, President, Blue Island Park District
“I'm here today at the beautiful Ozinga Field here in Crestwood, IL for our 2019 NBA Great Lakes Regional Baseball Tournament. We're here today all thanks to the Chicago Southland CVB and Joel who put forth a tremendous amount of work and effort to get us here an incredible upgrade from where we've been in years past. We have four colleges here in four different states all within two to three hours away from the field. It's a perfect location for our tournament, very easy to get to, very smooth trip here for all four teams. It's a beautiful all-turf facility. We have perfect weather today that we've had to battle in years past but seems like all things are firing correctly here at Crestwood. On behalf of the NCBA and CollClub Sports, we'd like to thank the Chicago Southland CVB and Joel for all of the effort that they put forth to get us here. We're excited to be here, it's a tremendous opportunity and we hope that we can come back in the future.”
-- Joe Shaffer, CollClub Sports, National Club Baseball Association
"We appreciate everyone on hand here: volunteers, local sponsors and everyone that's here to support our members. It's a great event and we're looking to crown a couple of champions this weekend. We appreciate everything that everyone has done this weekend to make a great event for our organization."
-- Brandon Bauler, Director of Membership Services, National Wheelchair Basketball Association
"I'm excited to be here in the Chicago Southland and work with the Visitors Bureau. It's been a really great experience. This is my 15th consecutive year at a junior national championship. We have 48 teams here this year ages ranging from five years old to 18 years old. It's really cool to see the five and six-year olds make their first basket. The facilities here are beautiful! What a memorable location to do it at and to see our graduating seniors. I'm super excited for our banquet tomorrow night and the special send-off for our seniors. I really can't thank Keith Wallace (LWRSA) and Joel from the Visitors Bureau for all their help and assistance. I can easily say this is one of our smoother years in the many years I've been involved."
-- Mike Bauler, Commissioner, National Wheelchair Basketball Association Junior Division
"We’re here today with the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau and we're very excited to be hosting the 2019 Toyota junior national tournament along with our women's national tournament, both are brought to us by ABC Medical. One of the reasons why it's important to be here this weekend is because we're providing access to sport for over 500 of our members. We have 480 junior athletes ranging from the ages of 6 to 18 as well as approximately 10 women's teams who are competing over the few days here at the end of March. One of the things we've enjoyed most about this tournament are the facilities. We've had great support with facilities required to host 58 teams but also the ease of getting here to Chicago Southland centrally located across many interstates as well as the ease of access to multiple airports. We've been nothing but thrilled with the level of support that we've gotten both from the CVB as well as from a variety of other local sponsors and we're very excited to consider coming back in the future."
-- Will Waller, Board Member, National Wheelchair Basketball Association Junior Division
“We're here at the Southland Center for one of our first events of the season in a brand-new state-of-the-art facility. It’s a great setup for our families and we couldn't be more thankful. I think it's a great opportunity for future event operators. I think it's got a chance to really become something special with its general location geographically between Chicago and Indy and be able to pull into an area of athletics that hopefully they'll be here for years to come.”
-- Chris Mennig, US Junior Nationals and Blue Star Basketball
“We are here in the Chicago Southland with the Soap Box Derby Race. We are working with Joel Koester and the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau. They have been a great asset in helping us promote and organize this event.”
-- Stan Iglehart, Greater Chicago Soap Box Derby
"We're here courtesy of the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau. They've been amazing to work with, helping us get all of our racers and staff in here, as well as getting all the spectators out here today to enjoy the amazing Spartan Race with our Spartan Stadium Series."
-- Jason Barnes, Spartan
"We are here with Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau, who has helped us put together the MultiGP North Central Regional Final. Over 100 pilots are participating today, all of them looking for their chance to get the opportunity to fly in Orlando at the national championships. Today, pilots have been competing in two minute races. Drone racing is blowing up, it is everywhere. Chicago Southland has taken care of us very well here, at the Matteson Community Center, on this beautiful field. Pilots are loving it. Spectators are loving it. We're glad to be here."
-- Mike Oliver, Milwaukee Motorcross, Drone Racing
"Working with the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau has been absolutely amazing. They helped us with everything we needed from our hotels to our shuttles to our after party spot, which is most important."
-- Jake Mason, USA Dodgeball
"Sincere thanks for your support and encouragement of Illinois’ Fire/Rescue heroes, heroines, fitness, health, wellness and public safety – important work that doesn’t get done without good folks like you, and good organizations like CSCVB."
-- Rob Alesbury, OnTarget Challenge
"The Chicago Southland CVB was able to do what no one else was able to do. They found us a venue that had ample flat, beautiful grass to host our eight fields of 200 teams that come to play paintball at our Chicago Open event. They were able to convince the venue that we’re worth taking a risk on and it’s been a wonderful venue for us because we are close to six major interstates. Teams were able to drive in from multiple states, easily saving money on flights and travel. There are plenty of hotels nearby, which is just an event planner’s dream. Plus just the draw. We’re close to Chicago, but we are in an area where people feel comfortable. They’re not dealing with the Chicago traffic. It’s just perfect. We’ve really been impressed with Joel Koester. He’s been our main liaison with the CVB and he was able to negotiate some really good rates for us with the hotels. Anytime we had questions about permits with the city, he just handled everything for us and made it much easier. We really hope we can come back and make this an annual event right here in Chicago Southland."
-- Camille Lemanski, National Xball League
“It was a simple process for selecting the Chicago Southland for hosting the 2016 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS US Pro & Collegiate Championships. They provided the perfect mix of being a great partner, having amazing facilities, and pulling from truly engaged fans around the region. There will be no better home for the Original Extreme Sports.”
-- Brad Sorgen, STIHL, Inc.
“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Joel Koester and the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitor Bureau. They helped every step of the way to ensure the US Log Rolling Open was a success.”
-- Katie Rick, KRICK, LLC
"We’re here in the Chicago Southland at Andrew High School and we couldn’t be happier being at this facility. They opened up their arms to us and they opened up their hearts. The facility, the CVB and Joel have been tremendous assets to us for the community not only bringing local support but ultimately awareness in bringing a lot of economic value back to this area. We’re bringing 300 football players from not only the Chicagoland area, but the adjacent states around. Putting 300 football players here at Andrew High School is something very special for us and we couldn’t thank the Chicago Southland enough for their openness to host us and invite us into their community.
-- Frank Priami, USA Football
"Working with Joel and the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau was a great experience. Joel is very helpful and very friendly. We could not have put this event on if it was not for the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau."
-- Coach Michael Mayden, Metropolitan Junior Baseball League Inner City Classic
"The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau with Joel Koester has been a fantastic asset. The reason we came back here for a second event was because they are always very helpful. We really appreciate what they do."
-- Keith Shoup, American Taekwondo Association
"We brought our event to the Chicago Southland because it is a beautiful area with great hospitality, hotels and venues. Love it and we will be hosting many more events to come."
-- Toi Baylor, Baylor Youth Foundation
"Dear Danny and Jim, It was a pleasure working with you. I would like to speak with you soon about opportunities for next year. The NPPL appreciate all your support and hard work. Great job."
-- National Professional Paint Ball League
"Chicago Southland has been wonderful to work with. We greatly appreciate all your help you've given us. We are looking forward to working again with you."
-- Jane Quilin, 2nd City VolleyBall Ltd.
"The Chicago Southland area is honestly one of the nicest "group" of hotels we have yet seen in the country. We block rooms in 250 areas in the U.S. - and none were as responsive and accommodating. It is wonderful to work with hotels that work essentially together."
-- Kelli Orpen, Tournament Housing Services
"Thanks to the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau for their support and for the Chicago Southland Headquarters Hotel for providing 1st class service to players from all over the country. Chicago Southland is the place to be!"
-- Sylvia Gothard, Racquet Sports Supervisor, Homewood-Flossmoor Racquet & Fitness Club
"The CSCVB service really helped for our out of town teams! Plus, it took a lot of work off our hands."
-- Micki Ingerly, Park Forest Wings/Fall Classic Soccer Tournament
The Bureau promotes the Chicago Southland as a sporting event destination at the following tradeshows:
- Sports Events & Tourism Association
- Connect Spring Marketplace
- Sports Illinois Huddle
- Connect Marketplace
- SPORTS - The Relationship Show
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