Credit Crunch Hits Prairie Creek

The struggling American economy isn’t hitting just the ticket-buying public. With the credit markets squeezed and unemployment rising, it’s apparently affecting construction projects, too.

The Chicago Tribune reported Oct. 15 that one such project, the long-awaited Prairie Creek Amphitheatre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., has been waylaid while developers try to secure financing at a reasonable interest rate.

Hoffman Estates officials told the paper that the developers, including Jerry Mickelson of Jam Productions, are “running out of warm days” to start construction this year in order to open by Memorial Day 2009.

“They’re having trouble getting money at [an interest] rate that makes sense to them,” assistant village manager Mark Koplin told the paper. Prairie Creek Properties expected to begin construction of the $34 million, 9,400-seat shed over the summer in hopes of having it ready to open in spring 2009.

The project has already endured a lengthy permit process, Mickelson earlier told Pollstar. He declined to comment on the Tribune’s report of a construction delay.