At McCormick Place, the financial loss is enormous

Agency that runs convention center reported $11M drop in revenue in March because of Covid-19; slashed fiscal year intake

Chicago /
Apr.April 29, 2020 10:00 AM
McCormick Place, now a temporary field hospital, reported $11 million net operating loss in March alone. (Credit: Google Maps)

McCormick Place, now a temporary field hospital, reported $11 million net operating loss in March alone. (Credit: Google Maps)

The swift and staggering financial toll the coronavirus has taken on Chicago may best most exemplified at one giant property: McCormick Place.

The Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority, which runs the 2.6 million-square-foot convention center, reported an $11.3 million net operating loss in March alone, Crain’s reported.

Now transformed into a field hospital to treat Covid-19 patients and prepare supplies, the losses at McCormick Place are expected to worsen when April numbers are released. The facility will eventually be able to handle 3,000 patients throughout three halls. Dozens of scheduled events there have been canceled as the state remains under a stay-at-home order that Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week extended until May 30.

The plummeting revenue at McCormick Place compares to the $1.6 million loss the facility reported in February, when the virus had not taken hold but concerns about its spread were emerging. The MPEA also slashed its expected revenue for the fiscal year by about 30 percent, to $222.5 million, according to Crain’s. For the fiscal year ending June 30, net operating losses will likely tally a whopping $36 million, reversing what had been projected net income of $700,000, according to the report. [Crain’s] — Alexi Friedman 


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