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
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
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
"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.
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
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.
SOURCE Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.