Governor JB Pritzker joined the Chicago Blackhawks, the City of Rockford, and the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment Authority (RAVE) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) in announcing a $23 million multi-year capital project to revitalize the BMO Harris Bank Center -- Rockford's largest sports arena and entertainment venue. With support from state, local and private sector partners, the project will spur regional economic development and lay the groundwork for the acquisition of Rockford-based professional hockey team, the Rockford IceHogs, by the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks.
The City of Rockford, RAVE, the State of Illinois, and the Chicago Blackhawks are partnering to invest in building improvements to the BMO Harris Bank Center, home of the IceHogs. Fueled in part by Governor Pritzker's bipartisan Rebuild Illinois $45 billion capital plan, the project will modernize Rockford's largest destination asset, creating over 250 construction jobs, retaining hundreds of existing full-time positions, and generating millions in economic activity to the region. "Not only will this $13 million investment create over 250 construction jobs, retain hundreds of existing positions at the arena, and generate tens of millions in economic activity for the region - but we're also opening the door for the Chicago Blackhawks to formally purchase their AHL affiliate, securing the IceHog's long-term presence in Rockford," said Governor JB Pritzker. "By leveraging our historic Rebuild Illinois capital plan, we have scored a winning combination for Illinois, for Rockford, for the Chicago Blackhawks, and for the Rockford IceHogs - and just as importantly, for all the fans who are excited to come back to the BMO to cheer on the hometown team."
"As we make strides towards a post-pandemic normalcy, I'm excited to assist in investing over $10M to Rockford's largest and most iconic entertainment venue," said State Representative Maurice A. West (D-Rockford)."This will help us not only to foster new memories for Rockford families, but it will also help bring a diverse field of attractions and artists that will entertain our whole community. This is a huge win for downtown Rockford."