SBD/18/Facilities Venues

ILLINOIS GOV. SUGGESTS POSSIBLE MCDOME FOR BEARS IN CHICAGO

     IL Gov. Jim Edgar "signaled Thursday what is likely to be
the state's best plan" to keep the Bears from moving: a domed
stadium at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center that can
be built without legislative approval, according to this
morning's CHICAGO TRIBUNE.  Edgar "made it clear" that the
"McDome," project, as it is known in Chicago, may be "the most
politically palatable option."  Because the Metropolitan Pier and
Exposition Authority, which runs McCormick Place, can issue bonds
to be repaid through usage revenues, the plan would not require
tax dollars for financing and not be subject to a vote in the
Assembly.  Bears Owner Michael McCaskey has said he opposes his
team playing in a dome and wants the state to contribute $185M
for an open air stadium, possibly at sites he has options on in
suburban Hoffman Estates or Aurora.  However, a source told the
TRIBUNE: "There isn't any choice given the politics that exist in
Springfield.  This is the only choice" (Pearson & Christian,
CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/18).
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