Press & News
Stay tuned for the upcoming news about what's happening in the greater-Urbana area!
February 5—Film Champaign-Urbana to Host Workshop on Becoming a Film Location
Film Champaign-Urbana, a part of Experience Champaign-Urbana will host the first in a series of workshops focusing on the film industry in the region—“So You Want to be a Film Location?” on February 28, 5:00–6:00 p.m. at the Champaign Public Library. Co-hosted with Shatterglass Films and The Line Film Co., this workshop will share the good, the bad, and the real about offering your residence or business as potential for a film, commercial, or photoshoot. LEARN MORE.
January 22—Champaign-Urbana Area Restaurant Week Returns for Eighth Year with Highest Participation to Date
The 8th Annual Champaign-Urbana Area Restaurant Week, presented by Experience Champaign-Urbana, returns with a record number of participants. The nine-day celebration of our award-winning culinary scene, held January 26–February 3, 2024, includes options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert at 49 locations across 47 local restaurants. LEARN MORE.
November 8—Sport Inspired by Quidditch Hosts National Qualifier in Champaign County
18 college and adult club quadball teams travel to Rantoul Family Sports Complex, November 18–19
Quadball, the real-life sport inspired by the magical game of quidditch, is hosting a national qualifier for the first time in Champaign County. On November 18-19 it will be brooms up at Rantoul Family Sports Complex as 18 college and adult club quadball teams from across the country compete for qualification spots at US Quadball Cup 2024. LEARN MORE.
September 5—Economic Impact Data Shows Record Highs for Travel & Tourism to Champaign-Urbana Area
ECU reports that travel and tourism supported 4,900 jobs (14.8% increase), generating $160.8 million in payroll (17% increase), plus $17.3 million in local taxes (21.4% increase) were generated through $608.8 million in visitor spending (21% increase). Spending surpassed pre-pandemic numbers and jobs are back to where they were in 2019. The counties supported by ECU in 2022 include Champaign, Douglas, Moultrie, and Piatt. LEARN MORE.
August 9—Experience Champaign-Urbana Launches Accessible CU, A New Resource Highlighting Accessible Attributes of Area Hospitality Businesses
In collaboration with Community Choices and the University of Illinois College of Education, Experience Champaign-Urbana launched Accessible CU, a new section on their website that helps users find local businesses that meet their accessibility needs, outlining the physical, sensory, cognitive, and accommodation-ready characteristics of local businesses. LEARN MORE.
August 7—Champaign County & Chicago Indie Film, You’re OUT!, Premieres at Savoy 16
Local independent film You’re OUT!, distributed by Gravitas Ventures and described by nationally syndicated radio host Steve Dale as “a cross between National Lampoon’s Vacation and The Hangover with a dog hero,” will premiere at Savoy 16 on Saturday, August 12 at 3:00 p.m. LEARN MORE.
July 5—Asian Culinary Trail Pass Launches to Promote Champaign-Urbana’s Culinary Scene
Experience Champaign-Urbana launched a new experience pass promoting the Asian culinary scene in the greater Champaign-Urbana area. The pass—CU in Asia—features several dozen restaurants spanning the continent, highlighting the range of flavors and cuisine originating from China, Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, the Philippines, Thailand, and Laos. LEARN MORE.
June 21—D1 Nation Football to Make Big Impact in Rantoul
Experience Champaign-Urbana is thrilled to announce the inaugural D1 Nation Annual Spring National Championships, a premier football event set to take place at the renowned Rantoul Family Sports Complex, June 30–July 2. This highly anticipated tournament will bring together top teams from across the country to compete. Over 60 teams—1,800 players aged 5–14— and 2,700 spectators from Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Ontario, Boston, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Evansville, Charlotte, Alexandria, Muskegon, and Toledo will descend upon Rantoul, for an exhilarating showcase of talent and skill. LEARN MORE.
May 9—Visit Champaign County Foundation to Honor Local Tourism Trailblazers at Annual Toast to Tourism
The Visit Champaign County Foundation will celebrate the hospitality industry, alongside stakeholders and partners at the 10th Annual Toast to Tourism, May 17 from 4:00–6:00 p.m. at Carmon’s. During the event, the Foundation will honor five trailblazers with Tourism Impact Awards for their contributions in making the greater Champaign County area a better place to live, work, and visit. LEARN MORE.
April 21—Paxton Partners with Visit Champaign County to Promote Tourism
The City of Paxton is entering into a regional marketing partnership with Visit Champaign County, the certified destination management organization (DMO) for the area. As Visit Champaign County continues to promote the entire region, regional partnerships already in place with Monticello and Amish Country of Illinois—Tuscola, Arcola, Arthur, Sullivan—would be further enhanced with adding Paxton, growing our presence further north. LEARN MORE.
April 11—Champaign County Launches First-of-its-Kind “Community Job Application”
Digital platform makes it easy for potential residents to connect with Champaign County’s employers and community members—Connecting prospective new residents with Champaign County area employers just got easier with a new addition: the Community Job Application. Created by Champaign County Economic Development Corporation and Visit Champaign County, the platform allows newcomers to streamline their job search and community exploration process with personalized assistance, job matching, and relocation information in three short steps. The team worked with RoleCall, a national talent attraction consulting agency, to build this program. LEARN MORE.
March 15—Middle School Basketball Championships Returns to Champaign-Urbana
The Champaign-Urbana area will host the Illinois Middle School Basketball Championships for the second time this March 17–19, 2023. 130 boys and girls’ teams representing 4th–8th grade will compete for the championship at University of Illinois Campus Recreation’s Activities & Recreation Center (ARC), the Champaign Park District’s Leonhard Center, St. Thomas More High School, St. Matthew’s Middle School in Champaign, St. Matthew Catholic School in Philo. LEARN MORE.
March 6—IHSA Boys State Basketball Tournament Back for Year Two in Champaign
Following a successful tournament in 2022, the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Boys State Basketball Tournament will return to the State Farm Center in Champaign, March 9–11. Sixteen teams representing four classes will compete across sixteen games over three action-packed days of basketball. LEARN MORE.
February 13—Wrestlers Set to Make an Impact at IHSA State Wrestling Championships
Following this weekend’s sectionals, high school wrestlers across the state will prepare for the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Wrestling Individual State Championships, February 16–18, 2023. Over 650 wrestlers from 250 high schools will compete next weekend at the State Farm Center, with hopes to make it under the spotlight for the championship match. LEARN MORE.
January 30—US Quadball Midwest Regional Coming to Rantoul Family Sports Complex
US Quadball will bring their Midwest Regional Tournament to the Rantoul Family Sports Complex (RFSC) this November 18–19, 2023. This will be the first quadball event hosted at the Complex and the first major tournament hosted in Champaign County. LEARN MORE.
January 23—Champaign County Area Restaurant Week Returns for Seventh Year
The 7th Annual Champaign County Area Restaurant Week, presented by Visit Champaign County, returns with a record number of participants. The nine-day celebration of our award-winning culinary scene, held January 27–February 4, 2023, includes options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert at 42 local restaurants. LEARN MORE.