Since 1994, the United Center campus has hosted thousands of events and welcomed millions of guests attending professional and college sporting events and concerts. While we are proud of the positive experiences our guests continue to have here, we are even prouder that the United Center has grown into an economic engine for the Chicagoland region, as a result of the tax revenues and jobs we create.
Of course, when you come to an event at the United Center, there is a cost associated with it, even before you enter the building. Those costs could include parking, transportation and, unfortunately, amusement taxes levied by both the City of Chicago and Cook County. We never lose sight of those costs, and we do our best to operate with those concerns in mind.
As you may know, when you purchase a ticket for a concert at the United Center, the city and county add a 6.5% tax on that ticket price. A ticket to see the Bulls or Blackhawks is taxed at nearly twice that – 12% - making it one of the highest amusement taxes for sporting events in the United States.
Now, our elected leaders are aiming to increase that tax on you – the fans – even more.
Late last week, city officials announced they want to raise the tax on tickets for concerts and other family entertainment to 10.5% - an increase of 80% - which would make Chicago’s taxes on live entertainment among the highest in the United States.
Chicago stands alone for many reasons that we can be proud of - but having the highest amusement taxes for fans attending sports and concerts in the United States should not be one of them.
We, at the United Center, stand against this increase for several reasons. First, in the short term, it will cost you, the music fan, more money, but the long-term costs will be even greater. By driving this tax to be one of the highest in the country, Chicago will lose concerts. As the shows leave, so will the dollars that flow through restaurants, cabs and hotels on any given show night. Despite what our political leaders believe, the losses will far surpass any gains a tax increase is intended to garner.
We strongly oppose this measure and will do everything we can to convey that message to city leaders. Be assured that we are working with others to oppose any tax increase that will affect fans of live entertainment here at the United Center.
As the process moves forward, we will keep you up to date on what you can do to make your voice heard. Thank you for your continued support.