STATE OF THE VILLAGE OF ROSEMONT ADDRESS
MAYOR BRADLEY A. STEPHENS
ROSEMONT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
SEPTEMBER 13, 2017
GOOD AFTERNOON AND THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME TO ADDRESS THE ROSEMONT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
I AM HERE TO PRESENT WHAT WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON AND WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE IN THE COMING YEAR.
LET’S START WITH SOME FINANCIAL AND EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS. CURRENTLY, THE VILLAGE EMPLOYS MORE THAN 800 FULL- AND PART-TIME EMPLOYEES. THAT DOESN’T COUNT THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR THOSE BUSINESSES THAT PROVIDE GOODS AND SERVICES IN SUPPORT OF OUR VILLAGE VENUES.
OUR DEPARTMENTS ARE ALL RUNNING BETTER THAN BUDGET PROJECTIONS, AND MOST ARE PERFORMING AHEAD OF LAST YEAR.
SALES TAX IS UP APPROXIMATELY 8% OVER LAST YEAR. WE ARE ANTICIPATING NEARLY $16 MILLION IN SALES TAX REVENUES FOR THE YEAR.
OUR ENTERTAINMENT VENUES CONTINUE TO PERFORM STRONGLY, [BOTH IN TERMS OF THE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE WE OFFER, AS WELL AS OUR ABILITY TO ATTRACT EVERYONE FROM INDUSTRY LEADERS TO TOP ENTERTAINERS ON OUR STAGES].
[FOR EXAMPLE,] THE CONVENTION CENTER WELCOMED 12 NEW EVENTS FOR 2017, SEVERAL OF WHICH HAVE MADE MULTI-YEAR COMMITMENTS. INQUIRIES FOR NEW EVENTS ALSO REMAIN STRONG.
THE [ALLSTATE] ARENA HAS HAD ANOTHER PRODUCTIVE YEAR, PRESENTING THE LIKES OF BLAKE SHELTON, ERIC CHURCH, HALL & OATES, SHAWN MENDES, AND TIM AND FAITH ALREADY PERFORMING THIS YEAR, AND WE WILL FINISH UP THE YEAR WITH ED SHEERAN, JANET JACKSON, EIGHT SHOWS OF MARVEL LIVE, BOB SEGER (BOB SEGER PERFORMED AT THE ARENA IN ITS FIRST YEAR OF OPERATION), AS WELL AS PERFORMANCES FROM TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS AND THE BIGGEST JINGLE BASH LINE-UP EVER.
NEXT YEAR’S CALENDAR IS SHAPING UP WITH PROFESSIONAL BULL RIDING, DISNEY ON ICE AND MONSTER TRUCKS, IN ADDITION TO ANOTHER GREAT SEASON OF THE CHICAGO WOLVES.
THIS YEAR, WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT WELCOMING BIG 10 BASKETBALL ACTION, WHEN THE NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY WILDCATS TAKE THE COURT.
WE ALSO HAVE SOME GOOD THINGS HAPPENING AT THE ROSEMONT THEATRE. WE ALREADY HAVE HAD PERFORMANCES BY JUSTIN MOORE, BRANTLEY GILBERT, JEFF FOXWORTHY, JAY LENO, SHEN YUN AND PETE TOWNSHEND.
EDDIE VEDDER AND BILLY IDOL WITH KENNY ROGERS FINAL TOUR, NIALL HORAN, JERRY SEINFELD, JOHNNY MATHIS AND RIVERDANCE ARE ALL SCHEDULED FOR FUTURE PERFORMANCES, AS WELL AS SEVERAL FAMILY SHOWS.
A FEW OTHER THINGS TO NOTE FROM 2017: IN JANUARY, THE VILLAGE ASSUMED OWNERSHIP OF THE CHICAGO BANDITS WOMEN’S PROFESSIONAL SOFTBALL TEAM. THE TEAM MADE THE PLAYOFFS AND WE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT RUNNING A
PROFESSIONAL TEAM. WE ALREADY ARE PLANNING FOR NEXT SEASON; SO COME ON OUT AND ENJOY SOME GOOD FAMILY FUN W ITH THE BANDITS!
ALSO IN 2017, WE TEAMED UP WITH BOBBY HITZ PRODUCTIONS TO HOST A “FIGHT NIGHT AT THE DOME.” THE FIRST EVENT HAD APPROXIMATELY 2,000 ATTENDEES.
[BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS ADDRESS ON-LINE, WE WILL HAVE HOSTED ANOTHER EVENT ON FRIDAY NIGHT, SEPTEMBER 14], WITH LOCAL FIGHTER MIKE LEE HEADLINING THE CARD.
ON THE DEVELOPMENT SIDE OF THINGS, WE HAVE BEEN BUSY PUTTING TOGETHER SEVERAL PROJECTS.
FOR EXAMPLE, SOMETIME IN NOVEMBER, FARPOINT DEVELOPMENT WILL CLOSE ON THE PROPERTY AT 6300 RIVER ROAD (THE FORMER AAOS BUILDING), AND IMMEDIATELY BEGIN A TRANSFORMATION OF THAT PROPERTY INTO ROSEMONT’S FIRST LOFT-STYLE OFFICE SPACE.
I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT THE PLANS RECENTLY, [AND I CAN TELL YOU THIS DEVELOPMENT IS EXCITING].
WE HAVE FINALIZED A DEAL WITH WINDY CITY HARLEY-DAVIDSON TO BUILD A 20,000-SQUARE- FOOT DEALERSHIP AND CORPORATE OFFICE IN MB FINANCIAL PARK TO BE LOCATED BETWEEN THE BIG 10 BUILDING AND HOFBRĀUHAUS. [WE WILL CONSTRUCT A PARKING FACILITY UNDER THE TWO-STORY BUILDING.]
HARLEY HAS TEAMED UP WITH EAGLE RIDERS TO PROVIDE RENTALS FOR CROSS COUNTRY RIDERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD TO COME HERE AND TAKE OFF DOWN ROUTE 66.
YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THE DEVELOPMENT WEST OF 1-294, ON BOTH THE NORTH AND SOUTH SIDES OF BALMORAL AVENUE.
ON THE SOUTH SIDE, THE PRECAST FOR THE PARKING DECK IS COMPLETED, AS WELL AS THE SHELL FOR THE NEW DAVE AND BUSTER’S RESTAURANT.
THIS AREA WILL SEE THE CONSTRUCTION OF TWO NEW RESTAURANTS — CARMINE’S AND TRULUCKS — IN ADDITION TO THE ROSE HOTEL BY HILTON.
[ALL OF THE COMPONENTS] OF THIS DEVELOPMENT WILL BE FINSHED IN 2018, WITH OPENINGS SCHEDULED FROM MAY THROUGH SEPTEMBER.
ON THE NORTH SIDE OF BALMORAL, YOU CAN SEE THE HOME OF THE CHICAGO DOGS TAKING SHAPE RATHER QUICKLY.
THE 6,300-SEAT VENUE WILL BE THE NEWEST JEWEL IN THE ROSEMONT CROWN OF GREAT FAMILY FRIENDLY ENTERTAINMENT OPTIONS. I HAVE ASKED CHICAGO DOGS MANAGING PARTNER SHAWN HUNTER TO JOIN US TODAY AND FILL YOU IN ON SOME EXCITING NEWS, FOLLOWED BY A BRIEF PANEL DISCUSSION ABOUT THIS EXCITING PROJECT. THANK YOU.
MORE FUN AND INTERESTING NEWS ABOUT THE
CHICAGO DOGS AND IMPACT FIELD
[Editor’s Note: The following information is a selection of quotes from a transcript of the September 13th Rosemont Chamber of Commerce meeting, where Mayor Brad Stephens, delivered his annual “State-of-the-Village” address to 220 members and guests. At the end of the mayor’s address, he announced that the ballpark under construction in the Chicago suburb is a $63 million, 6,300-seat, project, set for completion and opening in mid-May, 2018. The mayor then called up two new partners in the venture. Shawn Hunter, co-managing partner of the new, minor league baseball team, announced the name of the organization – the Chicago Dogs. Frank Cucco, CEO of Impact Networking, announced that his company has signed a 12-year agreement for the naming rights to the ballpark, and that new name is Impact Field. Both gentlemen joined the mayor on the stage to comment on the project and later had a panel discussion moderated by Dan MIgala, founding partner of PCG. Here are the expanded comments and panel discussion. Key quotes are in bold type.]
Comments Following the September 13th Impact Field / Chicago Dogs Announcement
When asked why Shawn and his group chose the name Chicago Dogs, he answered: “It is the spirit of the city.”
“We wanted something that was fun and authentic and I think a Chicago Dog and baseball go together; so we think we found the right brand for the long term,” he continued.
“The facility is going to be the nicest, minor league stadium in the nation, thanks to Rosemont and Mayor Stephens, who had the vision to bring this venture into Rosemont’s complementary suite of existing entertainment offerings.
“It is due to open in mid-May next year, with 6,300 seats and no ketchup allowed!
“We are so proud to call Rosemont home . . . we never could have found a better community with a better location and a better entertainment destination than Rosemont, and that’s really due to the leadership and vision of Mayor Stephens.
“This is my 27th year in professional sports and entertainment management and I don’t think in all of my travels I have ever seen a community with a mayor and his father before him, with such an amazing track record of building these great, iconic community assets, and we are very lucky to be a part of it.”
“We are going to put the fans first. . . It is going to be a great family destination . . .
“My commitment to the mayor and to everyone in this room is to be great caretakers and stewards of this investment. We are going to put the fans first. It is going to be a great family destination. One of my goals is to make Mom and Dad the heroes; [to get folks to] come and stay here for a weekend, to see big time baseball and eat in Rosemont restaurants and do it not just once, but maybe several times a season. We want to find the guest who will stay here and enjoy some of the great amenities in Rosemont.
“For businesses, we want to create value and accessibility that maybe you don’t have in some of the other venues around greater Chicagoland. So this is going to be a great place for families, businesses and visitors to have fun.
“The one thing I ask of you is to come see us. We are headquartered, right now, in the LifeSource building with one of the best views of the construction site and what will be the whole stadium. Starting in October, we will be having tours, where we will make a presentation and then put the hard hats on and we will go look at this big beast.
”To the mayor’s [and the builder’s] credit, we are ahead of schedule.”
“A world-class community and a world-class project deserve a world-class name, Shawn concluded. Then he added:
“I am here today to introduce a new friend and a great partner and he is the CEO of Impact Networking, Frank Cucco, who shares the vision of the mayor and me regarding how to bring this new community asset to life.
“Frank’s company is Impact, whose executives are leaders in the industry and are leaders in the community, philanthropically, and they consistently have been voted one of the best places to work in Chicago – they know how to have fun. I had a mentor once who taught us that, ‘you can’t sell fun unless you are really having fun,’ and Frank shares that vision.
“So it is my great pleasure to introduce the chairman and our new partner in what is going to be the nicest minor league park in the nation –
“First of all, thank you for having me here today, Mayor Stephens and Shawn.
“Impact is proud to have secured the naming rights for Impact Field, the home of the Chicago Dogs. We are excited for all that Impact Field and the Chicago Dogs will bring to the Village of Rosemont and the surrounding areas, and the many new fans who will enjoy a world-class ballpark experience for the whole family at this state-of- the-art facility.
“Impact has been a proud, Chicago-based business since1999.
“We have a long track record of sports sponsorships in Chicago, and the other markets we serve, including the Chicago Blackhawks, the World Series-Champion Chicago Cubs, and beginning this season, the Chicago Bulls.
“We also sponsor the Milwaukee Brewers, Madison Mallards and Indianapolis Indians.
“Our sports sponsorships give us the chance to interact with our clients and the community in a meaningful way. Impact Field provides us with an opportunity to be even more involved with the community.
“Since Rosemont serves as the epicenter of greater Chicagoland, we can reach an enormous amount of people in a way that is convenient for them.
“Our use of the park also allows us to expand our charitable efforts, including our sponsorship of Pickard Elementary School, a Chicago public school in Pilsen.
“We have been providing Pickard students with Christmas gifts through our ‘Letters to Santa’ program, since 2008.
“One aspect of our sponsorship about which we are most proud and excited is our plan to bring a group of Pickard Students to Impact Field for a special event, giving them an experience they otherwise would not have had.
“Impact Field will be a cutting edge facility, highly visible to millions of people who use the Tri-State Tollway. It is the perfect gathering point for baseball fans and their families from throughout Chicagoland, as well as millions of travelers from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. It is an ideal venue for both business and pleasure, centrally located and easily accessible to all Rosemont has to offer.
“A unique feature of Impact Field will be our Technology Center, creating the perfect environment for business in a ballpark setting.
“Our partnership with the Village of Rosemont and the Chicago Dogs is a fantastic and unique venture that we are thrilled to be a part of . . .so, thank you . . . we appreciate it.”
THE PANEL DISCUSSION,
Dan Migala, Moderator
Following Frank’s remarks, Shawn Hunter returned to the stage to introduce one of the founders of PCG and also a Baseball Hall of Fame inductee (for innovative contributions to the sport) – Dan Miigala – who served as moderator of the final section of the program – the panel discussion.
Before Dan began to interview the panel, he said he is proud, not only to be serving as moderator, but because Forbes had just placed a feature all about the Rosemont / Chicago Dogs / Impact Field story on the venerable magazine’s website. Entitled, “A New Minor-League Team Tries To Run With The Big Dogs In Chicago,” Contributor Jason Belzer lauds Rosemont on the project.
Dan began the panel by asking the mayor how he ever got the idea for the ballpark and building.
Mayor Stephens replied that when they first started thinking about a small ballpark, they knew it would only be able to use it for four months out of the year. He wanted to find a way for kids to play baseball and softball, year – round.
“It goes back to when we were building the small ballpark and what eventually became the Dome. It came to fruition and was wildly successful. Then the Cubs’ negotiation began and that test balloon couldn’t take off because we couldn’t accommodate that much traffic.
“So we began looking at that piece of property and then we got together with Shawn and began to think, “Why not? Now, I can’t wait. I have always been a big baseball guy — not that I was any good playing it, but I like to watch the sport.”
Dan followed up with Shawn, asking him why this particular facility will be world-class.
“Because of the community and the location,” Shawn answered.
“I don’t know that there is a better location anywhere in the U.S. for minor league baseball from where we sit here in Rosemont.
“With all the complementary assets that have been built by the mayor’s father and the mayor, working with Marc Offit and seeing what they have done with MB Financial Park, it‘s amazing. The stadium itself will be so fan-friendly. It has a 360 degree concourse; so it will be very friendly for parents and kids. We’ll have great amenities for the business community with the private club and the suites. It is where we have taken ‘Best Practices’ from sports marketing around the world; [then we will] introduce it and blend it with irreverence. As you could see in the video, we are not going to be afraid to have fun and laugh at ourselves.”
Dan asked Frank about Impact and the Chicago Dogs and Frank replied:
“Impact always has done sports marketing because it is our demographic. We started out with the Chicago Blackhawks and we have two iconic buildings on the south tollway, and that gave us name recognition. So, we are trying to do the same thing with the Chicago Dogs. It makes it easier for our 112 sales people. Then when we walk into offices, we are recognized and we aren’t making cold calls.
“It’s also a way for us to treat our clients to a special event. We are going to have a really nice Technology Center and the building is going to be state-of-the-art all the way.
“To give you a little background, we started Impact in my basement in 1999, and sold mainly computer hardware. As we evolved as a company, we got into higher-end technology, managing IT and managing print services [and much more]. All these things were converging in offices. So what we were looking for was a place where we could exhibit all of our products and services together in one spot, and have a less pressurized environment where our customers can still see the game, enjoy the game and even bring their kids. But also, they can see the technologies all in one place without them having to come into one of our 17 offices.”
Dan said Impact’s Technology Center will be the first of its kind.
Then, Dan turned to the mayor and asked him what his two- and four-year-old children will want when he brings them into Impact Field the week it opens.
“I think the Kid’s Zone will really be important for the two- and four- year olds.”
Dan asked Shawn what the fans will see on the field.
“We’ll see great baseball,” Shawn answered.
“It’s the equivalent of an AA rating. The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball is the top private league in the nation. I am interviewing managers right now. I met with a leading candidate last night, who is one of the best. You’ll see the future stars.”
Dan wrapped up the panel asking the mayor: “What’s Rosemont’s secret sauce right now?”
Mayor Stephens said: “I can’t tell you. We want to ensure that everything is fan-friendly and patron-friendly and really make sure our staff understands that where there is an issue, we deal with that tissue quickly so everyone is comfortable. There’s no secret sauce. . .it‘s all about teamwork and that’s nine people working together on the field. . .well, we’ve got 800 [people working together].”