CCE Lands Chicago Shed?

The Chicago Park District has approved a 10,000-seat, temporary amphitheatre for the city’s Northerly Island, formerly the site of Meigs Field airport, and the council voted February 9th to hand over operation of the proposed shed to Clear Channel Entertainment.

CCE won the contract over longtime Chicago indie promoter Jam Productions, which said it originated the idea of the music venue. District spokesperson Michele Jones told the Chicago Sun-Times the council picked CCE because it felt the company had more expertise. The panel also cited its “unique assets” in the marketplace, including Clear Channel’s seven radio stations and network of billboards, the paper said.

Most interest groups appear to have little opposition to the shed being built on the island because of its impermanence, but some are concerned about poor access, safety, security and parking. If approved, the deal will run three years with an option for two one-year extensions.

The district hopes to raise $800,000 a year. Environmentalist groups agree the money will help fund a fish and wildlife habitat, although they reportedly originally believed “temporary” meant one year, the Sun-Times said.

According to the Chicago Park District, CCE is expected to bring in about 25 to 30 concerts and family events beginning this summer.

Jam CEO Jerry Mickelson wasn’t happy with the decision, telling the newspaper, “Having one company control two major outdoor venues is not healthy for the market.”