Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority
(Appropriated Spending in Thousands)
|MPEA Debt Service
Totals may not add due to rounding.
The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (Authority or MPEA) is a municipal corporation established by the Illinois General Assembly in 1989. Its mission is to attract trade shows, conventions, meetings, expositions, and public events to the City of Chicago and in the process strengthen the economy of the area. The MPEA owns McCormick Place, Navy Pier, the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel, and the Energy Center.
• McCormick Place is the largest convention center in North America, hosting three million visitors each year.
• Navy Pier attracts more than nine million guests annually and is the top visited tourist and leisure destination in the Midwest.
• The Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel is a Four Diamond-rated hotel located on the McCormick Place campus.
• The Energy Center is a district heating and cooling plant that supplies steam and chilled water to the convention center complex and several local customers.
In 2010, reform legislation restructured the McCormick Place convention operations. By design, projected revenues from utility delivery services and food service activities at McCormick Place are significantly lower than in the years preceding the restructuring. Additionally, corporate expenses have been cut by nearly 60 percent in fiscal year 2015 as compared to fiscal year 2010. Surplus revenues from Authority taxes provided operating assistance during a temporary four-year period, from fiscal years 2011 – 2014, as MPEA worked to expand its hotel property. In June 2013, the Authority completed that expansion of its hotel property ahead of schedule and under budget, and the additional operating income from the new hotel tower brought the Authority’s budget back into balance without support from surplus taxes beginning in fiscal year 2015.
With the restructuring now complete, the Authority has accomplished the following:
• The Authority completed construction of two major projects in fiscal year 2018.
• A 1,205-room Marriott Marquis Chicago hotel opened in the fall of 2017.
• A 10,387-seat Event Center that is the home of DePaul basketball and other events booked at MPEA. The Event Center opened in the fall of 2017.
• The fiscal year 2018 Budget Implementation Act eliminated the annual State General Revenue Fund Incentive Fund reimbursements. This Fund previously provided up to $15 million annually to incentivize tradeshows, meetings, and conventions to hold their events at McCormick Place.
• The Authority completed restructurings of its outstanding debt in October 2010, July 2012, September 2015, and December 2017 and, as a result, expects that it will not be necessary to draw on the state sales taxes to cover debt service in future years.
• In fiscal year 2018, MPEA had a balance of $39.3 million due to the state for draws previously made on the sales tax back-up. The Authority repaid the remaining balance of $39.3 million in July 2018.
• Beginning in fiscal year 2018, MPEA has proven its ability to financially support its operations without operating assistance from the State of Illinois.