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Hoffman Estates In Talks Over Sears Centre

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The village of Hoffman Estates is in talks to take over the struggling Sears Centre and is looking at retaining an outside management firm to run the arena.

Just three years old, the 11,000-seat Sears Center is saddled with $50 million in debt and lacks a major sports franchise as an anchor tenant. To make matters worse, the Centre managed to stage just 8 concerts last year, well below the 20 shows a 2005 feasibility study recommended.

Although the Centre does host two minor league franchises, the Chicago Slaughter indoor football team and Lingerie Football League's Chicago Bliss, Hoffman Estates officials are hoping that management by a private firm will bring more concerts to the venue. Documents obtained by the Daily Herald show that three companies have expressed an interest in the facility are AEG, SMG and Global Spectrum.

Both Global Spectrum and SMG would need to work with an outside promoter, a choice that was supported by Jam Production's Jerry Mickelson.

"Most event promoters prefer to work with a national arena management company rather than a competitor, so if the Sears Centre wants to maximize its utilization, then it should choose a venue management company who is 'Switzerland' to those of us who compete against each other every day of the year," Mickelson told the Daily Herald.

Chicago-based Jam Productions had plans to build an Amphitheater adjacent to the Sears Centre but their plans have fallen by the wayside for the present, and construction of the shed stalled due to the economic downturn. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers