Elk Grove Village pays $300,000 to sponsor "Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl" to promote business growth

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (WLS) -- Elk Grove Village will be sponsoring a college football bowl game in the Bahamas, a unique strategy to promote itself to businesses looking for a new home.

The northwest suburb will pay $300,000 to be the title sponsor the "Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl."

"Makers Wanted" is the village's slogan to encourage business growth.

"I want some business owner sitting in California whose thinking about opening a company in the Midwest, expanding his company, you know I've heard of Elk Grove, check it out," said Mayor Graig Johnson.

The game is slated for Dec. 21 in the Bahamas, about 1,300 away, and will be aired on ESPN.

It's the first time in history that a town that isn't considered a tourist destination has sponsored a bowl game.

The sponsorship cost will come from the village's business park, which is already home to over 3,500 companies and 80,000 workers.

"We were paying $175,000 to do Cubs games on a regional exposure, now we're getting $300,000 for national exposure," Johnson said.

Johnson said that the announcement has already generated a lot of buzz for the village, located adjacent to O'Hare International Airport.

If the national attention brings business investment, it could save residents in the long-run.

"We've had a house here for over 40 years and the taxes have been low, which is nice compared to the surrounding areas. If it's going to keep my taxes lower, I'm all for it," said taxpayer Susan Chojnacki.
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