CHICAGO, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- AEG, investor/operators of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire, and Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. announced a 10-year naming rights sponsorship agreement for the new outdoor stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois. Set to open in late June, Toyota Park will be the new home of Chicago Fire Soccer, concerts and other sports and entertainment competitions and events. "The Chicagoland area is one of Toyota's largest and most important markets, and our partnership with AEG presents a great opportunity to increase our ties with the community through the concerts, events and promotions taking place at Toyota Park," said Paul Holdridge, Toyota Motor Sales USA General Manager of the Chicago Region. "The sport of soccer has an enormous fan base here in Chicago, and we're very pleased Toyota Park will be the Fire's new home." The Toyota Park Grand Opening Weekend will take place on June 24th and June 25th and highlights the venue's versatile, multi-purpose nature. Toyota Park's 'Inaugural Event' will be the Pepsi B96 SummerBash concert festival on June 24th, featuring a star-studded list of Top 40 acts, including Bow Wow, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, Ne-Yo, Pink, Rihanna and Sean Paul. The concert will take place on the 7,200 square-foot Toyota Park stage, a dominant and unique feature of the building. The Chicago Fire's Grand Opening Match versus the New York Red Bulls will take place less than 24 hours later in front of a standing room only crowd anticipated to exceed 20,000. Toyota Park, which is owned by the Village of Bridgeview and operated by a division of AEG, is a multipurpose sports and entertainment venue located approximately 15 minutes southwest of Chicago. The capacity of the stadium will be 20,000 for soccer and other field events and 28,000 for concerts. Toyota Park is approximately 469,000 sq. feet and includes a practice field, AEG and Chicago Fire offices, retail and hospitality spaces and the newly created Illinois Soccer Hall of Fame (ISHF). In addition to becoming the permanent home to the Chicago Fire, Toyota Park will also feature a regular line-up of sporting, live entertainment, community and special events. "The Chicago Fire is thrilled to make Toyota Park its permanent home," said Chicago Fire President/CEO John Guppy. "The magnificent stadium is arguably the finest soccer facility in the country and an incredible field of dreams for every youth soccer player. Toyota's commitment reinforces yet again the growing importance of soccer to millions of Chicagoans." Under the Naming Rights agreement, the Toyota and Toyota Park logos will appear extensively throughout the stadium, on stadium signage, and stadium collateral. In addition, special display platforms have been built into the roof decks of the two suite structures located on the Toyota Park stage, providing Toyota with a unique presentation to highlight specific models of their current product line. Local Chicagoland Toyota dealers and sales divisions will also receive a wealth of unique brand integration elements, high-profile signage, promotional and hospitality opportunities. The financial details of the agreement were undisclosed. "I'd like to thank Toyota for their support of the finest stadium in North America. Not only will the stadium bring exciting entertainment programming into the Chicagoland area, but will also create new jobs and industry for the Village of Bridgeview. AEG's and Toyota's combined visions have helped turn the Village's dreams of a world-class stadium into a reality," said Village of Bridgeview Mayor Steven M. Landek. "Toyota Park is a versatile facility and is designed to host concerts and live entertainment in addition to sporting events. We will attract the biggest and best names in the touring industry. Toyota Park is the newest generation in state-of-the-art outdoor facilities," said Jay Cooper, Vice President of Midwest Operations, AEG Facilities. "Toyota's dedication to sports and entertainment is far reaching and is further evidenced by this ground-breaking partnership," Cooper added. In addition to Chicago Fire home games and international soccer matches, Toyota Park will also host a variety of other events including community events, sports competitions and concerts by world renowned artists. The 2006 calendar is highlighted by the 2006 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game on Saturday, August 5th featuring the MLS All-Stars versus Chelsea FC, back-to-back champions of the English Premier League. ABOUT Toyota Toyota established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates ten manufacturing plants including one under construction. There are more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the U.S. which sell more than 2 million vehicles a year. Toyota directly employs more than 32,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $13 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. ABOUT AEG AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Forum (as exclusive booking agent for sports and entertainment programming), Toyota Sports Center, Anaheim Arena (as preferred booking agent), Toyota Park (as operators), NOKIA Theatre Times Square, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie and London's Manchester Evening News Arena; sports franchises throughout the world including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Los Angeles Riptide (MLL) and four MLS franchises. In addition, AEG has recently developed and opened The Home Depot Center, a $150 million national training "campus" in Carson, California designated as an "Official U.S. Olympic Training Site" by the United States Olympic Committee that includes major facilities for soccer, tennis, track & field, cycling, action sports, beach volleyball, basketball and other sports. The company's live entertainment division, AEG LIVE is one of the world's leading concert promotion and touring organization. AEG is overseeing the development of L.A. Live, a 4 million square foot / $2.5 billion downtown Los Angeles sports & entertainment district featuring NOKIA Theatre Los Angeles, a 7,100-seat state-of-the-art live theatre, a 50-story, 1100-room convention "headquarters" hotel, Club NOKIA, a 2,200 capacity live music venue, a 14-screen Regal Cineplex, "broadcast" facilities for ESPN, along with entertainment, restaurant, residential and office space. The company has begun fully developing the 28-acre Millennium Dome and adjacent property located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River and will create the O2, a new arena within the 'Dome' and additional arenas, on a 50-acre site in the heart of Berlin, in Ontario, California and Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. www.ToyotaPark.com
SOURCE Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.