Jam’s Got A Brand New Shed

Chicago-based Jam Productions is expected to build a 10,000-capacity amphitheatre in the suburb of Hoffman Estates.

The venue will sit directly next door to the soon-to-open Sears Centre in the Chicago suburbs and will be called the Prairie Creek Music Theatre. It will feature 8,000 fixed seats and a lawn capacity of 2,000 – a sign of the times, considering lawns are not known for their income potential.

The venue’s planned location, in Hoffman Estates, is less than a mile from the former site of the similarly titled Poplar Creek Music Theatre, which closed in 1994.

“The two venues have an operations agreement between them and we will attempt to operate in consort with each other,” Sears Centre GM Steve Hyman told Pollstar.

“I have a parking lot … that is contiguous to the Prairie Creek amphitheatre, so there is an agreement worked out to handle that. Additionally, I will be doing their ticketing.”

Jam will formally present its plans to the Hoffman Estates village board later this summer, according to Chicago’s Daily Herald. The venue is expected to open on Memorial Day weekend in 2007.

“We’re very excited about it,” Hyman said. “To my knowledge, it will be the first time where buildings that are normally enemies will operate in consort whenever possible.”

The 12,000-seat Sears Centre is owned by Sears Roebuck & Co. and Ryan Companies, and operated by CCO Entertainment.

Jam officials did not return Pollstar‘s call seeking comment.

In other Jam news, the company is branching out into a new field with a contract to manage Chicago’s weekly New Maxwell Street Market. The city awarded Jam Entertainment and Creative Services a $200,000 contract to operate the open-air market, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The company is also producing the opening and closing ceremonies of the city’s upcoming Gay Games, the paper said.

– Niilo Smeds