Inside these posts: McPier

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Court ruling threatens McCormick Place overhaul

In this photo from April 7, 2010, McCormick Place union representatives, including John T. Coli of the Teamsters, far right, testify in front of the Joint Committee on the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

The state-mandated overhaul of McCormick Place operations hit a legal wall Thursday, as two major labor unions won a federal court judgment that the National Labor Relations Act preempts states from enacting legislation that would interfere with the collective bargaining process.

U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Guzman’s ruling in parallel cases brought by Teamsters Local 727 and by the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters has the potential to throw a major wrench into the revamped show-floor rules. The new rules give exhibitors the right to do much of their own booth set-up and tear-down work. Get the full story »

McPier plans to cut most of staff

From Crain’s Chicago Business | The agency that runs McCormick Place and Navy Pier will cut more than half of its corporate staff as it splits off management operations of Navy Pier and turns over management of McCormick Place to a private operator.

Chicago wins back lost trade show

A key health-care technology trade show whose departure helped trigger the overhaul of McCormick Place operations announced this morning that it is returning to the Chicago convention hall in 2015 and 2019.

The state-mandated reforms at McCormick Place were cited by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society as key factors in deciding to put Chicago back in its meeting schedule.

The changes could translate into cost savings of at least 25 percent, said H. Stephen Lieber, the group’s president and CEO. The estimate was based on talks with representatives from other trade shows that have taken place at the complex since the overhaul began last summer, he said. Get the full story »

Navy Pier to get own board

A southwest view from of Navy Pier from the Ferris Wheel, Nov. 9, 2010. (Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune)

Navy Pier, the lakefront entertainment complex that has been joined at the hip with McCormick Place, will be leased to a newly formed not-for-profit corporation that will govern and manage the tourist attraction, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority announced this morning.

Sara Nava Garvey will serve as transitional chair of the new board. She also serves on the board of the authority, the state-city agency known as McPier that now owns and operates the pier and the convention center. Get the full story »

McPier drops pursuit of potential hotel site

McCormick Place officials are abandoning a two-year effort to acquire a neighboring block for potential hotel development, officials said today.

The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority will drop legal proceedings aimed at acquiring several adjoining parcels through condemnation proceedings, said Renee Benjamin, the authority’s general counsel. Get the full story »

Groupons cost Navy Pier WonderFest revenue

Navy Pier, like other enterprises, is finding the use of daily deal site Groupon to be a mixed blessing.

The pier sold 7,500 Groupons for the beginning days of  its annual Winter WonderFest, an 283 percent increase from its first venture into discounted sales via Groupon last year. Get the full story »

Just two firms competing to run McCormick Place

The nation’s two largest convention center operators were the only companies to submit proposals to manage McCormick Place. The publicly owned convention complex is undergoing a state-mandated overhaul that is expected to include a shift to private management.

The biggest of the two competitors is SMG, whose sports and entertainment division has operated Soldier Field for the Chicago Park District since 1994. It is based in West Conshohocken, Pa.

Also competing is Global Spectrum, part of the Comcast empire. Based in Philadelphia, it was started by a former partner at SMG. Its senior vice president/convention centers is Tom M. Mobley Jr., who was general manager of McCormick Place from 1992 to 2003. Get the full story »

SMG, Global Spectrum apply to run McCormick Place

From the Chicago Sun-Times | SMG, which runs Soldier Field, and Global Spectrum, a unit of Comcast Corp., have filed applied to manage operations at McCormick Place. Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., run by Christopher Kennedy, and International Facilities Group LLC, whose leadership includes Michael Reinsdorf, expressed interest earlier but did not apply by the Tuesday deadline. The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority plans to make a decision by May 27.

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville coming to Navy Pier

Jimmy Buffett. (John Fitzhugh/Biloxi Sun Herald/MCT)

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant is sailing into Navy Pier for a 10-year run.

The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which owns and operates the pier, announced the lease Wednesday morning.

“So, we’ll have the Caribbean in February on Navy Pier,” said David Mosena, chairman of the authority, known as McPier. The authority is hoping the restaurant and entertainment venue will serve as an attendance magnet year-round. Get the full story »

McPier sells first $1.12B in bonds

The agency that runs McCormick Place got long-awaited financial relief Wednesday with the sale of $1.12 billion in bonds to restructure old expansion debt and finance an addition to the convention center hotel.

The bond deal, which represents the second step toward a state-mandated revamp of the convention center, also will restore depleted reserves and provide a short-term operating subsidy. Get the full story »

McPier retains bond ratings ahead of $1.18B issue

The agency that owns and operates McCormick Place will approach its long-awaited financial restructuring next week with its debt ratings intact.

The three major rating services held the line on their respective ratings of Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority expansion project debt in reports issued Monday and today, ahead of an anticipated negotiated sale of $1.18 billion in bonds on Oct. 6. Get the full story »

Search for McCormick Place manager begins

The state-mandated McCormick Place revamp moved into a second phase Wednesday with the launch of a search for a private management firm to run the convention center.

This comes on the heels of broad moves to cut exhibitors’ costs for electrical and food services and to give them greater leeway to do their own booth work. Get the full story »

Chicago business, civic leader Heytow dies

From Crain’s Chicago Business | Eugene Heytow, who headed Amalgamated Bank, the McCormick Center Hotel and the forerunner to the McPier board, has died at 76.

New McCormick work rules attracting shows

Mayor Richard Daley says the International Manufacturing Technology Show, which has held its trade shows at McCormick Place since 1947, has decided to recommit for three more shows through 2016.

The group is one of six current trade shows that have recommitted to the city and three new shows that have signed on. Get the full story »

McPier alum to head convention bureau board

Mayor Richard Daley Thursday named venture capitalist Bruce Rauner as chairman of  the board of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, the publicly subsidized non-profit organization that books business into McCormick Place and markets the city as a business and leisure destination.

Rauner comes to the position after a stint this spring on an interim board of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the state-city agency known as McPier that owns and operates McCormick Place and Navy Pier. Get the full story »