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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2001

State Assistance Facilitates Construction of New Lynwood Sports and Expo Center

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that the Village of Lynwood will receive state assistance to facilitate construction of a new $4.8 million sports and exposition center.

The center, being built by Southland Sports and Expo, L.L.C., will be located on a 39-acre site at 19701-19765 Stoney Island Avenue. It is expected to create at least 33 new jobs when operational.

"Quality of life ranks as a top consideration when businesses and families choose where they want to put down roots," the Governor said. "Facilities like this one help ensure that Illinois communities offer the amenities people are seeking."

The Village of Lynwood will receive a $300,000 Business Development Public Infrastructure Program (BIDIP) grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA), which will be used to construct 3,500 linear feet of water main along Stoney Island Avenue, linking the new sports and expo center to the village's water service.

Additional financing for the project will include a $600,000 grant through the Illinois FIRST program, $500,000 from Southland Sports and Expo, L.L.C., and $3.7 million from Advance Bank. DCCA provided $500,000 through the Participation Loan Program (PLP) to assist with the bank financing.

"DCCA administers a variety of programs designed to help ensure that communities are attractive to businesses and families," said DCCA Director Pam McDonough. "This project is an excellent example of the ways we can tailor these programs to meet the unique needs of individual projects."

"We are very pleased that Lynwood was chosen for this great facility," added Lynwood's mayor, Russell Melby. "Governor Ryan and Director McDonough have been instrumental in making this project happen."

"This is a one-of-a-kind sports and expo center," said Branko Ilic, general manager of the facility. "We will have local and regional soccer leagues and events, with an emphasis placed on youth soccer instruction and competition, for half of the year and mid-sized exhibitions and conventions to be scheduled for the rest of the year."

The Business Development Public Infrastructure Program provides low interest financing to local governments for public improvements on behalf of businesses undertaking expansion or relocation projects that have potential for creating and retaining jobs. The infrastructure improvements must be made on public property and must directly result in the creation or retention of private sector jobs.

The Participation Loan Program assists banks and other conventional lenders to provide financial assistance to small businesses that employ Illinois workers. Under the program, DCCA can participate in loans up to 25 percent of the total cost of a project, up to a maximum of $750,000.

Southland Sports and Expo, L.L.C. hopes to attract indoor soccer leagues in the winter and trade shows and conventions throughout the year. The facility will include a banquet hall seating up to 1,000, as well as a lounge, concession area and pro shop. It is expected open by June 30, 2002.


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