National rugby tournament brining economic boost to Michiana - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

National rugby tournament brining economic boost to Michiana

Posted:

One of the biggest high school sports tournaments in the country started Thursday in Michiana and it may be the last sport you'd ever expect.

The United States High School Rugby Tournament is underway in Elkhart. The city was selected to host the tournament because of the nationally renowned Elkhart Moose Lodge Rugby Grounds.

"You know we've been doing this for a number of years now and this is the best grass we've had to play on in 5 to 6 years," said Brandon Kean, a rugby coach for a Charlotte, NC based team.

Kean and his Charlotte Catholic Rugby team say they had no problem making the almost 12 hour drive from North Carolina because it means playing on what he considers the best fields in the country.

He's not the only Rugby Coach who feels that way. Many consider the Elkhart Moose Lodge Rugby Grounds the "Mecca" of high school rugby.

"I think it's just a great atmosphere out [at the rugby grounds]," said Kean. "Rugby fans love to cheer for whatever team happens to be on the field. Everybody is spirited. It's a great community event."

And it is great for the Michiana community in more ways than one. Not only can fans watch the best teams from across the country square off, but having the tournament in Elkhart helps boost the economy.

"[The visiting teams] are spending big money here this weekend in our backyard," said tournament organizer and Penn Rugby coach Bart Battorff. "Hotels, meals, that type of thing."

Tournament organizers expect the event to bring in at least $500,000 to the Michiana this weekend. The visiting 24 teams seem to be getting their money's worth.

"The people hosting this year have been phenomenal," said Peter Baggetta, a rugby coach from Washington D.C.. "Like helping out with where to go out and get this, here's where you need to go buy this or that. I mean the hosts, not just the rugby people, but the local people here have been fantastic."

Bottorf says he's enjoying playing host this weekend too, because not only is he helping boost the local economy, but it gives his team some home field advantage.

"I'm pretty excited to do this for the community, do this for the game. And yeah try to win the darn thing for the Penn team too," said Bottorf.

Anybody who wants to go to the tournament can buy weekend passes at the door for $15 a piece.

Penn Rugby Club is currently ranked as the fourth best school team in the country. They play Gonzaga, a team from Washington D.C., Friday afternoon.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Niles football huddles together to support captain who lost his father

    Niles football huddles together to support captain who lost his father

    Sean Craig is no doubt one of the leaders and key players for the Niles Vikings football team. He's a senior and one of the toughest kids in Southwest Michigan. Some would say he's "a chip off the old block". He's just like his dad. For Craig, there could be no greater compliment. His father, James Craig, passed away earlier this week.More >>
    Sean Craig is no doubt one of the leaders and key players for the Niles Vikings football team. He's a senior and one of the toughest kids in Southwest Michigan. Some would say he's "a chip off the old block". He's just like his dad. For Craig, there could be no greater compliment. His father, James Craig, passed away earlier this week.More >>
  • Did South Bend's second gang member call-in work?

    Did South Bend's second gang member call-in work?

    Police, prosecutors and community activists say last night's call-in proved promisingPolice, prosecutors and community activists say last night's call-in proved promising
    They're calling it a success: South Bend's second gang leader call-in. Four months after an initial sit-down, gang members were once again across the table from prosecutors, police chiefs and community activists. "If you don't want to help yourself, then we're going to stop you," said St. Joseph County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ken Cotter. That's the message law enforcement delivered to 23 South Bend gang members last night for one hour. They also offered them a way to get out of gangs. So wh...More >>
    They're calling it a success: South Bend's second gang leader call-in. Four months after an initial sit-down, gang members were once again across the table from prosecutors, police chiefs and community activists. "If you don't want to help yourself, then we're going to stop you," said St. Joseph County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ken Cotter. That's the message law enforcement delivered to 23 South Bend gang members last night for one hour. They also offered them a way to get out of gangs. So wh...More >>
  • What roads will be restricted for holiday drivers?

    What roads will be restricted for holiday drivers?

    As travelers head out for the holiday weekend the Indiana Department of Transportation is attempting to make traveling a little safer and more efficient. In a press release Friday INDOT announced they have filed a road work moratorium from Friday Aug. 29 until the morning hours of Tuesday, Sept. 2. INDOT said wherever possible, road restrictions would be removed to ease the traffic flow for holiday drivers. Some areas, however, will not be reopened due to safety concerns. You can find a list...More >>
    As travelers head out for the holiday weekend the Indiana Department of Transportation is attempting to make traveling a little safer and more efficient. In a press release Friday INDOT announced they have filed a road work moratorium from Friday Aug. 29 until the morning hours of Tuesday, Sept. 2. INDOT said wherever possible, road restrictions would be removed to ease the traffic flow for holiday drivers. Some areas, however, will not be reopened due to safety concerns. You can find a list...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.