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Champaign Native Named General Manager of New $80 Million Emerald Acres Sports Connection in Mattoon, IL

Tyler Yoder to Lead 150-Acre Premier Facility Set for Fall 2024 Opening

(PRUnderground) March 27th, 2024

Emerald Acres Sports Connection and the Sports Facilities Companies proudly announce the appointment of Tyler Yoder as its General Manager. His extensive experience in athletics and event management will play a pivotal role in positioning Mattoon, Illinois’ up-and-coming multipurpose sports complex as the leading sports tourism and recreation destination in the region.

A distinguished graduate of Ball State University with a Bachelor’s in Sports Administration and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of North Georgia, Yoder’s academic foundation complements his robust, practical experience, setting the stage for pioneering leadership at Emerald Acres. Having developed his leadership skills at the intercollegiate athletics level, notably as Director for Facilities and Event Management at Tulane University Athletics, the Champaign, Illinois native brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role. Throughout his progressive career, he has demonstrated a powerful blend of strategic planning and operational excellence. He has spearheaded game and event logistics, managed facilities for multiple sports, and skillfully coordinated tournaments and renowned sporting events.

“I am very humbled and honored to be selected as the General Manager of Emerald Acres Sports Connection,” said Yoder, who will relocate from New Orleans for the position. “Joining the Mattoon community and contributing to a facility designed to be a first-class destination for athletes and their families is both exciting and fulfilling.”

Located strategically in Mattoon, the project boasts the tagline “Cultivated by Rural King” denoting the partnership between the project and farm and home retailer whose flagship store and Store Support Center have resided since 1960. Rural King led many local businesses, organizations, and community leaders, to launch the $80 million state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor sports facility that is currently under construction. The development is expected to impact local and regional economies significantly, attracting 580,000 visitors annually, with estimated direct spending of $23.8 million, and generating 59,000 hotel room nights each year. As a beacon of sport and entertainment between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, Emerald Acres supports Illinois’ vibrant sports culture, inviting athletes and families to high-quality program-driven experiences when it opens in late 2024.

Yoder’s first year at the helm will focus on financial objectives and fostering a customer-centric atmosphere amongst staff. His philosophy centers on hiring passionate individuals who will enhance the visitor experience and solidify Mattoon’s reputation as an inviting city for sports enthusiasts.

“From my initial discussions with The Sports Facilities Companies and the Emerald Acres Sports Connection Board of Directors, it was evident that there is a shared determination to deliver an unparalleled experience at Emerald Acres,” Yoder added, emphasizing the collaborative spirit fueling the project.

“Tyler’s exceptional track record in overseeing complex athletic events and his vision for a dynamic, inclusive sports facility aligns perfectly with our goal for the complex,” stated Vice President David Bounds of Sports Facilities Companies. “With his leadership, we foresee Mattoon becoming a hub for high-caliber athletic events, which will stimulate economic growth and underscore our commitment to community enrichment.”

The impressive 150-acre venue, funded with the assistance of a $2 million state economic development program grant, includes multi-sport facilities, a family entertainment center, and integrated hospitality and retail spaces. It embodies a forward-thinking design suitable for a wide array of activities, from local events to notable travel sports competitions.

Visit the Emerald Acres Sports Connection’s website for more information and updates.


Tyler Yoder will be available for media interviews to talk about being named the General Manager for Emerald Acres Sports Connection cultivated by Rural King. Please reach out to the contact information below for any media who plan to attend.

  • When: March 28th, 2024, at 2 PM CT
  • Where: Emerald Acres Sports Connection
    • 1301 Fort Worth Way, Mattoon, IL 61938
  • Venue Contact: Tyler Yoder

About Emerald Acres Sports Connection

Emerald Acres Sports Connection is the newest premier multipurpose sports and recreation tourism venue in Mattoon, IL. Centered between three major cities, it serves as a regional hub of activity, entertainment, and opportunity. At 150 acres, it boasts eight basketball or 16 volleyball courts, 8 baseball diamonds, 12 turf and 4 grass fields, a family entertainment center, and walkable hospitality. This forward-thinking, sports- centered venue is suited for a range of activities that will establish itself as the paramount regional destination for travel sports and recreation. Emerald Acres Sports Connection is a member of the SF Network, the nation’s largest and fastest-growing network of sports facilities, and is operated by the industry leader in outsourced operations, The Sports Facilities Companies.

The post Champaign Native Named General Manager of New $80 Million Emerald Acres Sports Connection in Mattoon, IL first appeared on

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