Yanni receives special Hoffman Estates gift

 
 
Updated 3/29/2011 12:06 AM
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  • The Sears Centre staff gave Yanni a "Yanni Boulevard" street sign before his concert Saturday in Hoffman Estates.

    The Sears Centre staff gave Yanni a "Yanni Boulevard" street sign before his concert Saturday in Hoffman Estates.

Sears Centre General Manager Ben Gibbs said a special gift given to Yanni before Saturday's concert pleased the New Age superstar.

The staff presented the Greek keyboardist with a Hoffman Estates street sign bearing the words "Yanni Boulevard." Gibbs said the staff has given headliners similar gifts as a token of appreciation. The village has leftover street signs from its 50th anniversary in 2009 where a batch of blank commemorative signs were commissioned and installed on street corners.

This weekend's Yanni concert nearly matched the attendance at Yanni's 2009 concert, Gibbs said. Officials were predicting a much lower turnout.

"We were ecstatic," Gibbs said, without divulging the exact numbers.

The comments came after Monday's batch of Hoffman Estates committee meetings where the latest arena report was presented to the village board. The report also states that the Feb. 26 Chicago Slaughter indoor football game drew more fans than last season's home opener. Officials credited improved marketing.

The building's income so far this year is $214,115, compared to the budgeted year to date income of $143,330. That's $70,785 ahead of projections.

Trustee Karen Mills said some officials at Monday morning's chamber meeting took in the smooth jazz sounds of the Yanni concert.

"It was great to see how full the stadium was for it," Mills said.

The arena has started to tweak its concessions, opting for a new Poplar Creek Pub concept. Gibbs said the changes won't be fully felt until the arena's new hockey team begins play. Officials at the ECHL are finalizing the Chicago Express schedule, which begins in the fall. The report presented on Monday stated season ticket sales are trending well, and the team is focusing on sponsorship sales.

Events at the arena in the upcoming weeks include a Christian youth conference from April 1 to April 2, a high school all-american basketball game on April 2, the Professional Championship Bull Riders on April 16 and auditions for Fox television's "X-factor" from April 26 to April 28.

The village of Hoffman Estates has owned the 11,000-seat arena off the Jane Addams Tollway and Route 59 since December 2009.