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HyVee another likely sponsor at PCCC Jenny

HyVee another likely sponsor at PCCC

By Bernard Schoenburg, Political Writer

Posted Sep. 21, 2015 at 4:14 PM
Updated Sep 21, 2015 at 9:12 PM 

The board overseeing the Prairie Capital Convention Center Monday gave tentative approval to a one-year, $25,000 sponsorship agreement from the HyVee store in Springfield.
In exchange for HyVee paying the sponsorship, it would get signs marking concession stands in the building, a sign in the main hall and advertising on the center’s website. The center would pay up to $5,000 for the signs. HyVee would be able to compete to provide goods being sold at concession stands, but the agreement does not make the store the sole supplier.
Kyle Thornsbrough, store director of the HyVee at 2115 S. MacArthur Blvd., said later that he’s excited to see the improvements at the center, and the sponsorship is part of the store “being there for our community.”
Before a letter of intent was passed by voice vote at Monday's meeting of the Springfield Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority, board member Mary Frances Squires said she worried that more signs, through sponsorship agreements, could “overcommercialize our building.” She also asked if the main-hall signs would be hidden during certain non-sports events.
Mike Coffey Jr., chairman of the board, said the general policy is for signage to remain visible.
“That’s why they’re buying the advertising, so that people see it,” Coffey said.
Shawn Mayernick, director of business partnerships, said there are situations where some signs – such as beer company signs – are not displayed during some events.
The board will need to give final approval to specifics of a sponsorship agreement. The letter of intent also says HyVee would get four tickets to main-hall ticketed events.
Other businesses, including Green Family Stores and Bank of Springfield, already have sponsorships.
— Contact Bernard Schoenburg:, 788-1540,

On sale dates and ticket pricing for Fighting Illini Basketball Games in November Jenny

Prairie Capital Convention Center



 Contact: Jenny Vaughn
217.788.8800 office
217.788.0811 fax


Prairie Capital Convention Center announces on sale dates and ticket pricing for Fighting Illini Basketball Games in November




Prairie Capital Convention Center (PCCC) announces that tickets will be going on sale this summer for the five University of Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball home games that they will be hosting in November while the State Farm Center (formerly Assembly Hall) is under construction.


These five games are not included in the season ticket holders package however, season ticket holders will have first option to buy. All season ticket package sales are handled by the University of Illinois Box Office.  They will be reaching out to their season ticket holders in July and will be taking orders through July 31st.


Tickets for the five game series package for non-season ticket holders will go on sale Friday, August 7th at 10:00am. At that time, only persons wishing to purchase tickets for all five games will be accommodated. Series sales will end Thursday, September 10th at midnight.


Single game tickets will go on sale Friday, September 11th at 10:00am.


Tickets will be $23 for end balcony seating, $38 for side court balcony and end mezzanine seating, $58 for side mezzanine and main floor riser seating, and $102 for courtside seats.

Game dates and opponents are as follows:

November 8 – Illinois-Springfield

November 13 – North Florida

November 15 – North Dakota State

November 21 – Tennessee-Chattanooga

November 23 – Chicago State

 Game times are still being finalized.

 Tickets for Prairie Capital Convention Center shows are available at the PCCC Box Office, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or on-line at The Prairie Capital Convention Center is located at 1 Convention Center Plaza in Springfield, Illinois.


Sponsorship opportunities are also available at this time. Please contact Shawn Mayernick, shawn@spingfieldpc3, for more information.


For more information visit:               


PCCC board approves $55,000 sponsorship from Green Family Stores Jenny
PCCC board approves $55,000 sponsorship from Green Family Stores

The Prairie Capital Convention Center's board Monday approved having Green Family Stores auto dealerships pay $55,000 a year for a sponsorship that includes naming one level of the building the Green Family Mezzanine. File/SJ-R

The Prairie Capital Convention Center's board Monday approved having Green Family Stores auto dealerships pay $55,000 a year for a sponsorship that includes naming one level of the building the Green Family Mezzanine.The Prairie Capital Convention Center's board Monday approved having Green Family Stores auto dealerships pay $55,000 a year for a sponsorship that includes naming one level of the building the Green Family Mezzanine. File/SJ-R
By Bernard Schoenburg
Staff Writer

Posted Mar. 16, 2015 at 5:44 PM
Updated Mar 16, 2015 at 9:23 PM 

The Prairie Capital Convention Center’s board Monday approved having Green Family Stores auto dealerships pay $55,000 a year for a sponsorship that includes naming one level of the building the Green Family Mezzanine.
The action resulted from a letter of intent coming from the Green stores earlier Monday, and was not specified on the agenda of the noon meeting. That prompted some board members to initially balk at an immediate vote. But after Shawn Mayernick, director of business partnerships for the center, took members on an impromptu tour, there was a 7-1 vote to approve, with board member Greg Sronce the only vote against the plan.
“This obviously changes the identity of the interior of the building,” Sronce said. He thinks parts of the plan “could have been scaled down” because of the number of signs Green will be able to place.
“It really wasn’t presented as a negotiation,” Sronce said. “It was kind of a take it or leave it.”
“This is beyond a good deal,” Mayernick told the board. “This is about $25,000 more than I thought we would get in the beginning.” He also noted the board can approve all signs, and he wanted quick approval “so we can get this stuff rolling.”
Brian Oaks, general manager of the building, said with the approval of the board now in hand, a contract still has to be drawn up and signed by center management and the car dealership firm.
“The convention center’s done some really amazing things in the last few years, so we’re excited to be a part of that,” said Rachael Buraski, director of marketing for Green Family Stores. The business includes six dealerships in Springfield and one in Jacksonville, with sales of 15 car brands, she said.
Lots of signs
The letter of intent says that there is an option to renew the sponsorship for five years. Mayernick and Oaks both said the center could decide to renew the plan or not after a year.
Among other highlights, the company can say it is “official auto dealer of the center” or something similar; can use the center for an auto sale during the 13 days of the Illinois State Fair, which Oaks said is usually down time at the center; can have four hanging banners and four wall signs in the mezzanine concourse as well as signage that can be seen inside the main hall over 22 of the 28 mezzanine exits.
Bank of Springfield is also a sponsor at the center, resulting in the outdoor area between the center and its parking garage being named BOS Plaza. As part of Green’s package, Green would get 20 tickets to each BOS Plaza show, and one level of the parking garage overlooking the plaza would be the Green Family Club level. There would also be eight tickets to each indoor event where complimentary tickets are available.
Squires said allowing Green signs over 22 mezzanine exits is “a lot,” but voted for the full package after learning the board must approve all signs and could end the contract after a year.
According to Oaks, curtains will block some of those over-exit signs during some events.
The Green stores will also be able to display a car in the new south terrace that is on the mezzanine level and has a bank of windows facing Adams Street. A car could only be there when the area isn’t being used by another renter, but there would be a Green sign facing out that could be six to 10 feet long and 20 inches high, Maynernick told board member Tony Smarjesse in response to a question.
Mayernick said sponsorship for that terrace could go for $20,000, but in the letter of intent, Green Stores would have an option to buy the plaza’s title sponsorship for $10,000.

'Fantastic' partnership

Mike Coffey Jr., chairman of the board, said he was troubled that another business might offer thousands more after negotiations, only to be told Green would get that area sponsorship.
“I think you run the risk of aggravating and alienating other investors,” Coffey said.
Mayernick said other areas of the building, including a north terrace, are still available for sponsorship. He also said Green stores had wanted the terrace sponsorship included for the $55,000 price.
He said in general, the offer is “exceeding all expectations” and represents “a great opportunity to show value to somebody that invests a lot of money in our town. Hopefully, a year from now, it (the center) could be called the Green center.”
Under a policy previously passed by the board last year, Mayernick can get up to 10 percent and Oaks up to 5 percent of certain sponsorship sales. The board will decide later if those will apply in the case of the $55,000-a-year Green sponsorship.
Coffey has said those commissions don’t apply to beer or soda concessions, or for full-building naming rights.
“I’m all for the commissions,” Coffey said.
He also called the partnership with Green “fantastic” for the center, and said that while he didn’t like details involving the south terrace, “I was not willing to vote no on a $55,000 sponsorship over that one point.”
Board member Jason Loftus supported the Green plan and noted it would be the biggest sponsorship to date. He lauded Mayernick’s hustle, and chided fellow board members before the impromptu tour because they wanted to wait for approval because they couldn’t visualize the area involved.
“If you don’t know where stuff is, that’s not Shawn’s fault,” Loftus said. “He went out and got the money. I mean, he went out and busted his butt.”

LED lighting

Meanwhile, the board also approved, by voice vote, a $191,000 plan to upgrade lighting in the center’s main hall – contingent on receipt of a $36,842 grant that’s been applied for from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The grant would be awarded by April 1, and if it comes through, the work could be done this summer, Oaks said.
Oaks said the new LED lights would be dimmable, while the current metal halide lights need time to be restarted when turned off.
Entec, a consultant firm to the center on building systems, put together the plan, Oaks said, and Springfield Electric Supply Co. would provide fixtures, with B&B Electric doing installation.
Entec would provide up-front financing and the center would pay $2,569 per month to the company for five years, Oaks said. He said with that payment, the center would still come out about $250 ahead each month because of lowered energy costs estimated at $2,815 per month. In the second five-year period, he said, savings could thus be about $2,800 per month.
Coffey characterized the energy-savings plan as a professional service.
“It did not need to be bid, according to our attorney, and it’s going to end up saving some money,” he said.
--Contact Bernard Schoenburg:, 788-1540,

PCCC to host Illini Basketball for 5 games in November 2015 Jenny
PCCC to host Illini Basketball for 5 games in November 2015

Press Release for the University of Illinois:

UI Athletics Communication Contact: Derrick Burson (217) 333-0933,

Fighting Illini Basketball


Prairie Capital Convention Center to Host Illinois Basketball in November 2015

Fighting Illini will play total of 5 games in Springfield next season


SPRINGFIELD, ILL.–The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement with the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield to host five Fighting Illini men’s basketball games in November 2015. Illinois will make its debut at the Prairie Capital Convention Center (PCCC) on Nov. 8, 2015, for an exhibition game. The Illini return to Springfield for the regular-season opener on Nov. 13, followed by another game on Nov. 15. The UI makes its final visit to the capital city the next week with games on Nov. 21 and Nov. 23.


“We are hard at work transforming State Farm Center into one of the finest basketball venues in the country. And as we have known since the beginning of the project, we will not be able to host games next season until December due to the renovation schedule,” Illinois director of athletics Mike Thomas said. “We will instead take our show on the road and are thrilled to partner with the Prairie Capital Convention Center as we move five home games to our state capital. The PCCC staff and community leaders throughout Springfield aggressively pursued this opportunity. They will roll out the orange carpet and allow us to transform the PCCC in November 2015 so that we can provide the best home-court advantage for our student-athletes and our program.”


Springfield is less than 90 miles from the UI campus. It provides a central location in the state that will be convenient for traveling Illini fans in addition to the strong following the program already receives from the Springfield area.


“Hosting the University of Illinois basketball team for five games next season is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Prairie Capital Convention Center and the City of Springfield,” PCCC general manager Brian Oaks said. “We are so excited to be able to support the University during this time of renovation at State Farm Center, and are certain our local U of I faithful and Fighting Illini sports fans from around the state will support these games and provide a true home-court experience during the team’s stay here.  In addition to the excitement of hosting these games, they will provide a significant economic impact to the City of Springfield and help further our mission of building tourism and quality of life opportunities for residents of Springfield and the surrounding communities.”


Illinois will recreate the feeling of playing at home by transporting the playing surface, baskets, bench chairs and scorer’s table from State Farm Center to the PCCC. Specific information regarding tickets for the Springfield games will be announced at a later date.


“Our administration was aggressive in seeking out a location that would serve as a true home away from home during the renovation of State Farm Center, and we have found an outstanding partner in the Prairie Capital Convention Center,” Illinois head coach John Groce said. “They have cleared every date that we requested, allowing us to tailor our game schedule and minimize our travel. We’re covering the five games in just three trips, going over first for an exhibition game and then twice where we’ll play two games over three days, staying for practice on the days in between those games as well. We feel privileged to showcase Fighting Illini basketball in Springfield.”


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