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Sears Centre may default to Hoffman Estates

The Chicago suburb may take possession of the arena, as the current owner looks to walk away from deal next year.

Owner Ryan Companies is looking to walk away from ownership of the financially struggling Sears Centre, and Hoffman Estates — which financed the construction of the $50 million facility — is debating whether to take over ownership of the 11,000-seat arena.

The issue: Ryan isn't making money on the facility, which has failed to gain any niche in terms of offerings or attractions. Two sports tenants have folded, and the arena can't really compete with nearby Allstate Arena in Rosemont, which gets the best touring acts.

So Hoffman Estates may take over the arena, which it financed. Hoffman Estates is a fairy small community, so it would likely outsource management of Sears Centre. 

Like many other businesses, the arena has fallen victim to the current economic downtown and is not meeting its financial benchmarks,” Mayor William McLeod said in a statement. “We are considering a more sustainable option by pursuing an operating structure that combines public ownership and national private management.”

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