David S. Palmer Arena

Danville is seeing events return after a year of cancelations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A weekend wrestling tournament at the David S. Palmer Arena is one of them.

DANVILLE — About 200 speed skaters from across the U.S. were in Danville last weekend for a speed skating tournament.

“It went well. They loved our city,” said Illini Skateland owner/operator Sharon McMahon.

McMahon said the visitors ate in the city’s restaurants, shopped and bought gas, “so hopefully they left more than a few bucks here.”

This weekend, starting Friday, close to 400 wrestlers, boys and girls from elementary to high school age, and their families will be at the David S. Palmer Arena for the Illinois State Amateur Athletic Union Wrestling Tournament.

Danville Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. said it will be implementing COVID-19 protocols to ensure safety.

This is another influx of a large crowd of people in Danville, Williams said.

Also from Apr. 20-24, Danville Area Community College will host the National Junior College Athletic Association Men’s Division II Basketball Tournament.

Williams said he’s yet to hear about attendance restrictions for this tournament. The tournament didn’t occur last year due to COVID-19.

Arena General Manager Joe Dunagan said they are just renting the arena for this weekend’s wrestling tournament, with the organizers in charge of following COVID-19 restrictions.

Dunagan said the organizers are limiting access to participants, their parents and people.

He said they are splitting the tournament into sections during the weekend.

He said as of earlier this week, they had about 350 wrestlers signed up.

Dunagan said the area will benefit from the filled hotels and motels, and visitors spending money at restaurants, grocery and other stores and gas stations.

“We’re hoping this helps the community a little bit,” he said.

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