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First event at brand new expo center makes impact on local businesses in the QC community

The American Cornhole League is visiting the Bend XPO in East Moline for its seventh national open this weekend.

Whether you call it cornhole or bags, John Dindinger says it's all the same game.

"It's pretty intense and pretty competitive," he says. "I love it. I've been vaccinated, and I love hanging out with people. So much of cornhole is social anyway. It's very important to have these kind of events." 

Dindinger is one of about 350 players in town for the American Cornhole League's seventh national open, and even though he's not an out-of-towner, he knows tournaments like this give the area a boost.

"(It's) because the hotel is right over here," he says. "I'm from Muscatine and I just drive up. There's guys from... all over the place, Iowa obviously. It brings a lot of money into the local community." 

Just down the road at the Rust Belt, big events are a big deal.

"It's great. I love seeing everything come back, as long as we're safe," Jennie's Boxcar co-owner Crystal Reickard says. 

She knows getting traffic down here is key to their COVID-19 recovery. 

"We're so brand new here down at the Rust Belt," she says. "COVID-19 was a big hit so to see everything opening up, it's great.

Even though the games go all day throughout the weekend, ACL officials say the players will need a break. 

"We're here for a good portion of the day, but at some point, people want to step out somewhere and relax," ACL Midwest Conference Director Brian Ash says. 

More than 100 spectators are expected to come through the tournament throughout the weekend, and masks are required.

RELATED: The American Cornhole League drops into the Quad Cities for the weekend