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McCormick Place Overhaul Legislation Becomes Law

May 27, 2010

• Restructuring capital debt to allow the MPEA to further lower costs to customers and put the MPEA on sound financial footing.

• Allowing shows to select outside electrical and food service contractors.

• Auditing contracts to ensure savings are passed on to customers.

• Make recommendations to whether Navy Pier should remain in control by the Authority or become an independent entity.

“We listened to our customers and pushed for reforms that address their concerns. This new law introduces sweeping reforms that will transform Chicago’s meetings and convention industry,” said David Causton, General Manager of McCormick Place. “We now have very competitive market offerings that put our customers first across the board. It’s a new day in Chicago’s convention industry.”

Chicago customers are pleased with the outcome.

“This is a victory, not only for Chicago and the State of Illinois, but also for the 2,000 exhibitors who participate annually at the International Home + Housewares Show,” said Mia Rampersad, Vice President, Tradeshow for the International Housewares Association. “The IHA has hosted our annual event in Chicago for more than 70 years and believes it is the best convention destination in the world. This law will make McCormick Place a more cost-effective trade show venue and IHA's preferred destination for years to come.”

The new law also provides additional public funding to assist the CCTB in marketing Chicago as a convention destination. The CCTB has served as the sales and marketing arm for the city for more than 30 years.

“Customers, businesses and Illinois taxpayers will benefit enormously from additional funding to the CCTB,” said Mike Cassidy, CCTB Chairman. “It will give us more resources to maintain and attract new business to Chicago and Illinois.”

Meetings and conventions held at McCormick Place support 66,000 jobs and generate $251 million in tax revenue each year. Convention goers who come to Illinois spend close to $8 billion in the state. These big benefits were a focal point throughout the months of discussion that led to the new reforms.

Continuous updates will be available for Chicago customers on the Chicago Meeting Matters website at


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