A River North group is insisting on Bally’s abandoning the plans for the outdoor music venue at Chicago’s casino and replacing it with a public park.
The request has been made by the River North Residents Association as part of its lobbying against the $1.7-billion casino project planned by Bally’s for the former Chicago Tribune Publishing site. The gambling operator’s plans were approved by the City Council in May 2022. The approval that the Chicago casino project got from the competent authorities earlier this year has not stopped the aforementioned River North group from pursuing some changes that would make the project more “bearable” for local residents.
The creation of a pubic park has been only one issue in a 42-item wish list that has been submitted to Bally’s by the group. The president of the River North Residents Association, Brian Israel, shared that local residents do not want to be bothered by the loud noise that would be brought as a result of the establishment of a riverfront music venue.
So far, Bally’s has not commented on the situation. As reported by the Block Club Chicago, Mr. Israel revealed that the gambling giant’s leaders indicated in a meeting with the Association’s representatives held on July 7th that they would take the group’s request into consideration. The responses of the company to the aforementioned 42-item wish list were captured on a document by the Association.
42-Item Wish List Unveiled by the North River Residents Association in Terms of Chicago Casino Project
Initially, executives of the gambling giant believed that a 1,000-seat outdoor music venue would be gladly welcomed. However, after facing some opposition, Bally’s officials now plan to hold meetings with 8 to 10 other groups representing local people’s interests in order to identify common and unique requests associated with its Chicago casino project.
Some local officials said they were open to the idea of meeting with Bally’s representatives in order to discuss some questionable issues associated with the Chicago casino project.
As revealed by the River North Residents Association itself, some of the group’s notable requests involved the establishment of an eastbound exit ramp, as well as a westbound entrance ramp connecting the casino venue to the Ohio-Ontario feeder; dedicating 2% of the revenues received by the city to establish a program for education and treatment of problem gambling; moving all concerts and performances indoors and limit such events to a maximum of 15 days a month, extending security patrol from the temporary and permanent casino site, etc.
According to the meeting document presented by the River North Residents Association, official representatives of Bally’s revealed that large-scale events would likely take place 3 to 4 days weekly. The gambling operator also rejected the proposal involving the eastbound exit and westbound entrance ramps, saying that it would cost a lot of money to make such changes, after thoroughly evaluating the proposal.