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August 2, 2001

Governor Signs McCormick Place Expansion Bill

CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today authorized financing for an $800 million expansion of McCormick Place by signing House Bill 263.

"This legislation supports Illinois' tourism industry and the hard working men and women of Illinois who will be employed throughout the construction," said Governor Ryan. "McCormick Place already is the top convention destination, and with this expansion, it will be sure to maintain that rank."

House Bill 263 was initiated in response to a growing demand for space at McCormick Place. The expansion consists of a new building adjacent to the convention center's parking garage. It will include 610,000 square feet of exhibit space, 140,000 square feet of meeting rooms and a 60,000 square-foot ballroom.

The planned expansion is expected to create 21,000 construction and tourism related jobs.

"I'd like to extend my thanks to Governor Ryan, Mayor Daley and members of the Illinois General Assembly for their support and continuing commitment to keeping McCormick Place a world-class facility," said Scott R. Fawell, CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). "Expansion will create thousands of new jobs and generate more than $2 billion in new economic activity."

The bill was sponsored in the House by Rep. Phillip Novak, D-Bradley; Jeffrey Schoenberg, D-Evanston; Judy Erwin, D-Chicago; Joel Brunsvold, D-Milan; Howard Kenner, D-Chicago; Senate Sponsor Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale; Margaret Smith, D-Chicago; James DeLeo, D-Chicago.


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