The agreement to keep Lollapalooza in Chicago for the next 10 years guarantees a larger minimum payment to the city than that of the new NASCAR race starting next year, while the NASCAR race has longer windows for installation and dismantling, according to the contracts. for the two Grant Park events obtained by NBC 5 Investigates.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the deal to keep Lollapalooza in Chicago until 2032 during this year’s music festival. Terms of the deal secured via an open taping request by NBC 5 Investigates show that C3, the event production company that produces Lollapalooza, will pay the city a guaranteed $2 million for a four-day, 1 $.5 million for a three-day festival and at least $750,000 even if no festival takes place.
These payments are guaranteed minimums. But the contract says C3 will pay the Chicago Park District a share of the festival’s total revenue: 5% of the first $30 million, 10% of revenue between $30-50 million, then 20% of revenue between $50-70 million. of dollars. The installments increase by $1 million per year, according to the agreement. Announcing the deal late last month, Lightfoot’s office said Lollapalooza generated $7.8 million in fees for the Park District in 2021.
The permit agreement for the new NASCAR race – a three-year agreement – shows that NASCAR will pay the city a permit fee of $500,000 for next year’s event, $550,000 for 2024, then $605,000 in 2025. NASCAR will pay the city $2 per ticket sold, excluding corporate suites and VIP passes, as well as a net commission percentage on catering: 15% next year, 20% in 2024 , then 25% in 2025.
While Lollapalooza will pay a guaranteed $750,000 to the city even if no festival takes place, NASCAR’s deal shows its organizers can terminate the deal up to 180 days before the event, with no guaranteed compensation to the town. If canceled within 180 days, the cancellation fee is $250,000.
Permit agreements show NASCAR has a 21-day staging window before the event, which is scheduled to take place July 1-2, 2023, and then 10 days to pull it off. Soon after, Lollapalooza has 14 days to prepare for the four-day event in late July or early August, followed by seven days to take it all apart. In between, parts of Grant Park will be blocked off for much of the summer, from mid-June through the first week of August.
Lightfoot’s press release announcing the deal also said it “formalized C3’s $2.2 million commitment to Chicago Public Schools” — but the newly secured deal doesn’t mention that.
“If I said that, I misspoke,” Lightfoot said when asked about the deal at an independent event on Monday. “The $2 million is coming to the city and on top of that, C3, as it has for several years, has committed to providing additional resources to CPS.”
CPS said that while the financial commitment is not in the fine print of the contract as previously announced, C3 “will distribute $2.2 million over five years to more than 200 CPS schools”, although the agreement lasts 10 year.
As for other investments, the agreement shows that C3 “will commit up to $100,000 towards the renovation of the tennis court”.
On both Lollapalooza and the NASCAR race, some Chicago City Council members said they heard many details of the deals in the media — and they wanted more comment before the mayor agrees to major deals like these.
“It’s going to be a very profitable event for NASCAR with all of their marketing, with all of their branding and all of their side deals, they’re going to do really well, they’re making money and we’re making pennies.” , Hopkins said earlier this month, when NBC 5 Investigates showed him details of the NASCAR deal. “It’s a bad deal for the taxpayers. Even if you’re a NASCAR fan, the city left a lot of money on the table.”
“Sometimes we have to go much faster than the city council process allows,” Lightfoot said Monday. “We try to involve them at the start, throughout and after the action.”
“The devil is in the details and we’ve seen a very slow leak of what those details are,” said state Rep. Kam Buckner, who is running for mayor. He’s asking the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to require air testing before and after the NASCAR race.
“If it’s a good deal, then what harm is there in shedding light on it?” he added. “If it’s a good deal, what harm is there in giving the people of Chicago and the people duly elected by the people here the details and the rundown of what’s going on?”