Who's paying for the Blackhawks celebration?

ABC7 I-Team Investigation

Chuck Goudie Image
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Who's paying for the Blackhawks celebration?
Who's paying for Thursday's Blackhawks parade and pageant?

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Since the Chicago City Council authorized borrowing more than $1 billion to make ends meet, there is a question of who's paying for Thursday's Blackhawks parade and pageant as well as the event's security, traffic aids and Park District workers - not to mention the street sweepers and garbage haulers.

Previous Blackhawks parades through downtown Chicago and rallies in Grant Park cost about $200,000 each. City Hall at the time said they were paid for by private donors.

With Thursday's celebration taking place at Soldier Field, a Chicago Park District facility, the ABC7 I-Team asked the Park District for a cost estimate and who is paying it. They referred us to the mayor's office.

"We're gonna have a parade worthy of a dynasty," Mayor Rahm Emanuel previously said.

And just how much is a dynasty parade worth?

Since the celebration was announced, the mayor's office hasn't released anything about funding the event.

The ABC7 I-Team did find an answer to the question of who's paying from the Blackhawks organization itself. The team says that the following corporate sponsors will foot the bill: the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group, Allstate Insurance, the Privatebank, Boeing Corporation, BMO Harris Bank and Bud Light beer.

This year, for the first time, the rally at Soldier Field required fans to obtain tickets via Ticketmaster.

According to city officials, Ticketmaster is providing the service "at no cost" to the taxpayers.

Ticketmaster did get something out of the deal - names and email addresses from everyone who signed up for the 62,000 free tickets. Company officials did not respond to the I-Team's request for information about the Blackhawks' event.