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DEVELOPER FLOATS PLAN FOR PRIVATELY- FINANCED DOME FOR BEARS
Published April 25, 1995
Chicago developer Stein & Co., currently managing the $675M expansion of the city's McCormick Place convention center, is "floating" a proposal to build a domed stadium at the convention center requiring "at most, a modest public subsidy," according to the latest issue of CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS. The plan comes just two weeks after Bears Owner Michael McCaskey said he will seek state funding to cover 2/3 of the cost for a $285M new stadium in the suburbs. CRAIN'S writer Jeff Borden reports that Stein & Co. has distributed the plan to Bears and city officials within the last week to 10 days and calls it "a serious setback" for McCaskey. The Stein plan calls for a "state-of-the-art" domed facility with a natural grass surface that would be "transported in and out" for games. The stadium would seat 74,000, including 200 luxury boxes and 10,000 club seats. Sources estimate the dome would generate $40M-$45M/year. Much of the financing for the facility would be raised through the sale of PSLs, with the remaining costs financed through public and private bonds "serviced by the in-stadium revenue stream." Borden reports that the stadium would increase Bears stadium revenues from the $5.5M/year they now receive at Soldier Field to $12M-$15M/year. Stein & Co. has overseen construction of the United Center and is currently involved in the Jaguars' stadium renovation (CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS, 4/24 issue).