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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Spending nearly $60 million for land and construction of a new two-rink ice center on the Near West Side will help the Chicago Blackhawks bolster participation and interest in hockey citywide," Danny Ecker reports for Crain's.

"But the new 125,000-square-foot facility also stands to become the next big moneymaker for team owner Rocky Wirtz's expanding empire."

You mean it's not all about the children?

"Aside from renting the place out to what Wirtz believes is pent up demand for ice time among recreational hockey leagues, the new 'Chicago Blackhawks Community Training Center' will become a massive new marketing vehicle.

"A Wirtz spokesman said that there have been no discussions about naming rights for the facility, but industry experts say the right to put a corporate name on the building could be worth in the neighborhood of $1.5 million to $2 million per year."

So when the city discounted the sale price of land due to the project's "community benefits," the city meant the community of the Wirtz family.

"Naming rights for the ice center might be worth $2 million if it were purchased independent of a broader sponsorship deal with the team, said Tony Schiller, president of Skokie-based sponsorship consultant Paragon Marketing. But being tied to the Blackhawks could push it even higher in value, he said."

So in four years, max, the team will be able to pay back taxpayers for the cost of demolishing Malcolm X College for them! With interest!

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"In addition to owning half of the United Center, Wirtz also helps drives revenue to his beverage distribution business through the team's official bar program and spun off the team's video production department into a separate business, Banner Collective, which now does corporate video production and provides all video and graphics for the new video boards at Wrigley Field."

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Previously:
* Rocky Wirtz Should Be Ashamed Of Himself.

* Rocky Nudges, Rahm Winks.

* Blackhawks Net $10 Million From City.

Rubber Stamp School Board
"When the Chicago Board of Education unanimously approved a $20.5 million, no-bid contract with the former CEO's previous employer that's now under federal investigation, the members were voting the way they typically do, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis shows."

Without dissent - and, let's face it, without real (public) debate.

I discuss this story further on The Beachwood Radio Hour #64: Break The Rules!

(Consult the Show Notes if you want to skip right to that segment.)

The Beachwood Radio Hour #64: Break The Rules!
Don't go to school. Plus: A Subway Story; Are Those Articles In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?; Newspaper Stories: The Car Wash; Paid Influencer Opp!; Obama Caves On Human Trafficking; Pope Theo; Blackhawks Bullshit, and; Chicago's Opening Ceremonies.

Pension Pickup
"In exchange for securing more property tax money for pensions, Emanuel has expressed a desire for teachers to cover the full cost of their own pension contributions," the Tribune reports.

"For years, the city has picked up most of the 9 percent contribution required of teachers - meaning they end up sending 2 percent of their salaries toward pension contributions.

"I don't see a solution that does not involve the teachers paying the 9 percent, which is consistent with what teachers around the country and other public employees pay. In fact, most public employees pay more. At the Chicago Transit Authority, where I was previously at, the employees pay 11.5 to 12 percent. No one pays 2 percent," [schools chief Forrest] Claypool said.

"Jackson Potter, a CTU officer, said eliminating the pension pickup practice would amount to a pay cut and violate a longstanding agreement with teachers."

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Claypool may have a point - if a race to the bottom is a point - but I'd need to know more about the rest of the CTA's union contract to know; each union decides for itself where to give-and-take. In other words, maybe CTA workers (and other public employees) took a higher pension contribution in exchange for something else teachers weren't as interested in.

Or maybe teachers should get better benefits than many other public employees. After all, the governor is paying his favorite appointees salaries higher than the previous governor did because, well, he thinks they deserve it and it compares more favorably to the private sector. (In other words, maybe great teachers are hard to find.)

At the same time, maybe this is an area where teachers will have to budge. I don't know without more information - and I'm not about to take Claypool's formulation for it.

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Here's one (well-regarded) CPS principal's response:

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Our Lying, Politicized CPS
Local education reporters Sarah Karp (formerly of Catalyst now with the BGA), Becky Vevea (WBEZ) and Lauren FitzPatrick (Sun-Times) appeared at the Hideout on Tuesday night for the weekly panel show there hosted by the Reader's Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke. Raise Your Hand was there, too:

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Fantasy Fix Draft Guide: Top QBs
Find Cutler!

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BeachBook
* Maria's Team Aims To Prevent 'Bro-Hole' From Replacing Club Foot.

* Chief Keef Quotable - Play Along.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Infinite.



Permalink

Posted on August 5, 2015


MUSIC - Fan Note: Malcolm Young's AC/DC.
TV - FCC Wraps New Gift For Sinclair.
POLITICS - The Paradise Papers In Africa & Asia.
SPORTS - The Connor Barf Game.

BOOKS - Inside The Book Of The Dead.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Safe Stuffing.


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