McCormick Place Overhaul Legislation Becomes Law

CHICAGO—May 27, 2010—Officials of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB) and Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) today applauded the passage of a new law meant to reform labor rules, establish exhibitor rights and realign McCormick Place operations with its major competitors in the convention and trade show industry. The Illinois General Assembly overrode Governor Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto and wrote the historic convention reform into law.

The legislation recently gained overwhelming approval by the Illinois General Assembly, with leadership and support provided by Governor Pat Quinn, Mayor Richard M. Daley, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and House Minority Leader Tom Cross.

The new law establishes an 18-month period to develop and implement significant reforms that will result in lower costs for exhibitors. The CCTB and MPEA remain committed to communicating these reforms to customers, as the new procedures are finalized.

Tim Roby, CCTB President and CEO believes this legislation will renew Chicago’s status as a premier convention and trade show destination, while helping to drive business to hotels, restaurants, retail and more.

“For many months now, we have been working diligently with our customers, Governor Quinn, Mayor Daley and the legislative leaders to bring comprehensive change to Chicago’s meetings and convention industry,” said Roby. “We have been aggressive in communicating to our customers the extraordinary benefits of the legislation and we will continue working with them throughout the next 18 months to ensure that they understand the positive changes at every step along the way. This is a very exciting time for everyone involved.”

“This is a victory for our customers, our economy and the working people of Illinois,” said John Gates, Chairman of the Interim MPEA Board that pushed for swift legislative action. “This was always about protecting jobs and preserving an industry that provides $8 billion in economic impact for our State. Lawmakers have taken decisive action to keep McCormick Place, and Navy Pier, the preeminent facilities in the convention and tourism industries.”

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