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HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL-Ryan Cos. and Sears Roebuck are planning to build an 11,000-seat, $60-million arena in the Prairie Stone Business Park, and they begin the formal process of winning village approval tonight. The partnership is asking the village to help finance the project with $50 million in general obligation bonds.

The Hoffman Estates Center will showcase concerts, ice shows, family programs, hockey games, Arena football league games, college basketball tournaments, tennis matches and tournaments, boxing matches and exhibitions. Its closest competitor is the 17,000-seat Allstate Arena east on the Northwest Tollway in Rosemont.

“With the commitment from Sears, the anticipated support of the village of Hoffman Estates, and an underserved marketplace, all the pieces are in place to make this a very special and exciting project,” says Jeff Smith, regional president of Ryan Cos. US, Inc., whose company is 75% owner of the project.

Northwest suburban Chicago is the most underserved market for entertainment venues, according to sports and entertainment facility and management consultant Galliard, LLC, topping Baltimore, southwest suburban Detroit and San Diego. “Areas like this need new venues for service and entertainment and historically have enjoyed considerable success,” says Galliard principal Steve Hyman.

Galliard projects the arena’s economic impact to be $72 million a year in direct and indirect spending. It also may fuel further development on the village’s northern end. “Ultimately, I expect additional development in and around the arena as hotels, restaurants and other complementary retail and business services seek to capitalize on the additional business and consumer spending that is drawn to the area,” says Hoffman Estates Village president William McLeod.

Sears has its corporate headquarters in Prairie Stone Business Park. The northern portion of the village.

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