As expected, NBC SPORTS CHICAGO has struck a multi-year media rights deal with the WHITE SOX, BULLS AND BLACKHAWKS to take effect at the start of the 2019-20 season.
The deal — which still needs to be approved by MLB, the NBA and the NHL — would keep the three teams on the network they have called home since 2004.
That year, the regional sports network launched as Comcast SportsNet Chicago, a joint venture between the cable company, the above-listed teams and the CHICAGO CUBS. The network rebranded under the NBC moniker in October 2017.
The deal all but confirms the Cubs will go their own way and form their own television network following the 2019 season. The Chicago Sun-Times reported last month that the prospective Cubs network would be named Marquee, with Sinclair Broadcast Group as a potential partner.
Sinclair, which has attracted controversy in recent years over the perceived conservative slant of their news content, has owned Springfield’s WICS-TV since 1999.
While most major cable and satellite outlets offering service in central Illinois carry NBC Sports Chicago, there is no word yet on how a potential Cubs network would impact availability of the North Siders’ games here. Some teams that have done what the Cubs seek to do have run into disputes with cable companies.
For instance, when the Los Angeles Dodgers launched their television network in 2014, many cable providers in southern California refused to carry it, leaving in some cases more than half the market in the dark.
If you are a Cardinals fan or, like myself, a Sox fan, this prospect does not necessarily present a problem. And it’s still a bit down the road. But for those who bleed Cubbie blue, this is a development worth keeping an eye on.
Ten department store properties formerly owned by THE BON-TON STORES INC., including the former BERGNER’s in White Oaks Mall, will be auctioned on Jan. 28 in New York.
New York-based brokerage firm A&G Realty Partners, which was retained in May 2018 to dispose of Bon-Ton’s real estate assets, will conduct the auction.
Bergner’s closed in August after more than four decades as an anchor store at White Oaks. A&G officials touted the 125,000 square foot, two story anchor space as having “great potential for traffic-driving, alternative reuse,” while saying that the mall “continues to be the cornerstone of the Springfield economy.”
The spaces formerly occupied by Bergner’s and Sears are not owned by Simon Property Group, which owns the rest of the mall.
While White Oaks officials have been mum on their intentions for the former Bergner’s and Sears spaces, mall manager Clay Emerich told the Springfield City Council last June that the group was “aggressively” pursuing the vacant spaces.
Emerich said that the group was looking at the spaces as an opportunity to diversify their tenant base.
“It’s a really great opportunity for us to pivot and to be able to be more in line with what Springfield is looking for,” Emerich said at the time. “We are very, very excited for the opportunity right now.”
BAR NONE is done.
The downtown bar and live music venue was absorbed by The Gin Mill on Tuesday and will be used as a private-party and special-event location.
The two bars are owned by the same person and are connected through an internal door, making the transition fairly seamless.
Bar None had one of the city’s few seven-night-a-week 3 a.m. liquor licenses.
But at the request of owner Jason McKemie, the city council voted last month to switch the license to just three nights a week, allowing sales until 3 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.
This new license will only be utilized for special events or private parties in the former Bar None Space, however, with The Gin Mill continuing to remain open until 1 a.m.
According to a social media post, a previously booked shows will go on as planned. The venue will adhere to a strict original-music-only policy, however.
URBAN SASSAFRAS is closing its downtown brick-and-mortar location, its owner confirmed in a social media post in late December.
The store’s last day of regular business was Dec. 28, but owner Cassandra Pence Ostermeier said to expect a closing sale sometime toward the middle of this month.
Ostermeier said the store, which was located diagonally across the street from the Old State Capitol, will live on through special events and pop-ups. Her KIDDOS BY URBAN SASSAFRAS, 407 E. Adams St., will remain open.
PRO IMAGE SPORTS, a sports novelty and memorabilia chain with more than 100 locations across the country, has closed its location in White Oaks Mall, a mall spokeswoman confirmed.
The store had been a mall mainstay for nearly two decades. Store franchisee Andy Nichols could not be reached for comment.
It should not come as a shock, but Illinoisans are on the move.
That was one conclusion from the 42nd annual National Movers Study conducted by UNITED VAN LINES.
The study found that Illinois was the second-most moved-from state in 2018, with nearly 66 percent of moves being outbound.
The group said the findings matched long-term demographic trends of out migration from northeastern and Midwestern states into southern and western states. But, of course, Illinois faces unique challenges such as a structural budget deficit, massive pension debt and political dysfunction.
Last month, the U.S. CENSUS BUREAU revealed the state’s population decreased by 45,116 between 2010 and 2018. Only New York saw a larger drop.
Top states people moved to in 2018:
Top states people moved out of in 2018:
Filed at Springfield Building and Zoning, Dec. 17-30:
WESTERN SPECIALTY CONTRACTORS, 2501 N. Colt Road; building addition
REAL ESTATE SERVICE & CONSULTATION LLC., 725 Christmas Seal Drive; parking lot
MARSHALL’S, 2560 Wabash Ave.; tenant build-out
HORACE MANN EDUCATORS CORP., 200 N. Ninth St.; parking lot stripping
COMPUTER BANC, 1545 N. 11th St.; interior remodel
DUNKIN, 2730 S. Sixth St.; remodel
ST. JOSEPH’S PARISH, 1345 N. Sixth St.; interior remodel
MISS KIMMIES, 1933 Iles Ave.; interior non-structural demolition
CBD BOTANICALS, 2536 Koke Mill Road; sign permit
CAPITAL CITY PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, LLC., 1501 S. MacArthur Blvd.; sign permit
SIMMONS 1 FINANCIAL, 2626 S. Fifth St.; sign permit.
Ribbon cuttings through The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce:
CASA REAL, 3100 White Oaks Drive; Jan. 10.
Brenden Moore covers business issues for The State Journal-Register. Contact him at 788-1526, firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.com/brendenmoore13.