SBD/October 14, 2013/Facilities

Big Ten Opens New $20M HQs In Rosemont With Interactive Conference Museum To Come

The Big Ten has opened its new three-story, $20M HQs in Rosemont, Ill., and about 40 full-time employees of the conference "moved into their new digs at the end of last month," according to Christopher Placek of the Illinois DAILY HERALD. Construction continues inside the building "on a 'Big Ten Experience' interactive museum that will be open to the public early next year." The HQs is the "newest addition to Rosemont's burgeoning entertainment district," and the area is "already getting foot traffic." Big Ten Deputy Commissioner Brad Traviolia said, "We're in a much different neighborhood." Placek reported officials estimate the 50,000-square-foot building will "host some 130 athletic and academic meetings annually." The conference, which "fully owns" the 3,000-square-foot, first-floor museum space and the second and third floors, spent $16-17M on building construction, and plans to spend another $3-4M on the museum (Illinois DAILY HERALD, 10/13).

PRESIDENTIAL PROFILE: In Chicago, Robert Channick profiles Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman and notes he is a "pedigreed television executive forged in the Disney mold." Disney/ABC Television Group Exec VP/Pay TV & Digital Dan Cohen said of Silverman, "He's like a multitool executive. He's really engaging; he's very knowledgeable, positive, personable and collaborative." Channick notes Silverman has "managed to give equal time ... to all of the Big Ten schools." Northwestern AD Jim Phillips said of Silverman, "He's fair, and that's hard to do when you've got a lot of mouths to feed across 12 institutions, and soon to be 14 institutions. He's always accessible." BTN lead studio analyst Dave Revsine, who is one of about 115 employees working at BTN HQs in Chicago, said, "Mark is very easygoing, very approachable, extremely smart and a great listener." Meanwhile, Channick notes the network, which launched in '07 and now reaches 53 million homes, has 60% of its ad revenue "tied to 14 Saturdays in the fall." Nielsen data shows that ratings for the net during the '12 football season "ranked just below ESPN in an eight-market average including Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit and Cleveland." SNL Kagan data shows that the net in '13 is projected to bring in $270M in total net revenue, of which $234M is "from license fees charged to cable and satellite distributors to carry the network"  (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/14).
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