Chicago Wolves to extend Allstate Arena contract for five more years

  • The Chicago Wolves will be staying put at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont for at least another five years, team and village officials said Thursday.

    The Chicago Wolves will be staying put at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont for at least another five years, team and village officials said Thursday. Courtesy of Chicago Wolves

  • Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens talks to local business leaders Thursday during his annual state of the village address at a Rosemont Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

      Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens talks to local business leaders Thursday during his annual state of the village address at a Rosemont Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • Mike Gordon

    Mike Gordon

 
 
Updated 9/11/2014 6:54 PM

The Chicago Wolves plan to play at the Allstate Arena for at least another five years, Rosemont and team officials revealed Thursday.

Mayor Brad Stephens made the announcement during his annual state of the village address at a luncheon of the Rosemont Chamber of Commerce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Stephens said village and Wolves officials reached a verbal agreement Thursday morning. The five-year deal, which will likely be considered by the village board Oct. 8, includes an additional five-year option. Financial terms were not immediately disclosed.

The minor league hockey team has played at the village-owned facility since the franchise was founded 20 years ago. But as the lease in Rosemont was set to expire, team officials had explored moving to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.

"I know they were wooed by those folks in Hoffman Estates, but they are just somebody that still has loyalty, and that's (Chairman) Don Levin and his organization, which is tremendous," Stephens said. "We are very proud that they are a part of the Rosemont family."

Mike Gordon, the Wolves' president of business operations, said he's been pleased with the long-term working relationship the Wolves have with Rosemont officials. He's also impressed by the growth of Rosemont, and the Allstate Arena's central location within the Chicago area.

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"If you dive into the nuts and bolts of sports business, part of the business is your lease negotiations and what a building is able to do for you," Gordon said. "The village of Rosemont has been a partner in being able to provide us with tools and resources to win championships."

Stephens said the village is also looking to secure the Chicago Sky women's basketball team for a lease extension. Those talks would likely begin after the Sky's WNBA championship series.

DePaul University's men's basketball team is scheduled to play in Rosemont through the 2015-2016 season, after which it plans to move to a new stadium being built near McCormick Place in Chicago.

Allstate Arena is also a big concert draw. It was the fourth most attended arena in the U.S. with more than 213,000 ticket sales during the first six months of 2014, according to concert industry trade publication Pollstar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

That rating came before country superstar Garth Brooks came to town this month. Brooks decided to kick off his world tour Sept. 4 at the Allstate Arena -- the first of 11 shows in Rosemont. Officials are expecting some 200,000 concertgoers from those shows.

"I love that man," Stephens quipped.

Last month, Northbrook-based Allstate Corporation renewed a naming rights agreement that will give the village $15 million over the course of the next 10 years.

The stadium is already about $1.5 million ahead in revenues compared to 2013, and just short of a record-setting year in 2012, the mayor said.

"The Allstate Arena is one of the fuel sources for the engine that's Rosemont," he said.

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