The agency that runs the McCormick Place convention center has a new report about how much economic activity the center -- and its “campus” -- brings to Chicago and Illinois.
The figures are impressive: $1.7 billion a year, and more than 15,000 jobs.
For that to continue, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority — the agency that runs McCormick Place — said it needs good answers for when conference organizers ask if the city is safe to visit.
President Donald Trump has made Chicago violence a frequent talking and tweeting point.
“Every time the president says something like he says, we have to answer another question,” said Lori Healey, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority CEO.
She said the agency tells people the violence happens far away from McCormick Place.
“We focus a lot on making sure that people not from Chicago understand that, while there are certainly issues in Chicago, the proximity is not really close to our facilities,” she said.
Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority employees explain that “recent upticks in violence have been concentrated on the far west and south sides of the city in neighborhoods that face historic economic challenges.”
Dan Weissmann is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow him @danweissmann.