Grand American staying in Sparta

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Amateur Trapshooting Association have signed a contract extension that clears the way for the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta to host the ATA Grand American through 2036.

“I’m thrilled we were able to extend this contract for another decade,” said IDNR Director Natalie Phelps Finnie. “The ATA Grand is a premier event and an important economic driver for Randolph County and southern Illinois. It’s a privilege to host the Grand at the World Shooting Complex, and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the ATA.”

The Grand American, the largest and oldest shooting event of its kind, features more than 20 events and attracts more than 5,000 competitors and spectators from across the globe annually. The event, which was first hosted at the World Shooting Complex in 2006, has an estimated economic impact of $25 million to $30 million annually.

The 2024 Grand American is set for July 31 to Aug. 10. More than 4 million targets will be thrown during the event.

The World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta is part of the IDNR family of sites. IDNR named Skip Klinger executive director of the complex in December. Klinger said he is excited to lead the World Shooting Complex, a site he’s been to many times during his professional career, including visits for past Grand events.

“The ATA Grand is an incredibly important competition in the world of trapshooters, and people come from all over the country and the world to participate and watch,” Klinger said. “My team and I are already making plans to ensure the 2024 Grand is the best one so far.”

The 1,600-acre World Shooting Complex is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday each week. Activities include trap and skeet shooting, sporting clays, and other sporting activities. The site also features more than 1,000 campsites and fishing opportunities.

For more information, call 618-295-2700 or click here.

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