The NOW Arena (originally known as the Sears Centre and Sears Centre Arena) is a multi-purpose arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a northwest suburb 25 miles (40 km) from Chicago. Located near the former site of the Poplar Creek Music Theater, it was estimated to attract over 750,000 visitors annually.[according to whom?] Since 2016, the arena has been home to the Windy City Bulls, the Chicago Bulls' affiliate in the NBA G League.
Exterior view of the arena (c.2011)
|Former names||Sears Centre (2006-20)|
|Address||5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy|
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192-3720
|Owner||Village of Hoffman Estates|
|Broke ground||July 21, 2005|
|Opened||October 26, 2006|
|Construction cost||$60 million|
($78.5 million in 2019 dollars)
|Project manager||GTG Consultants|
|Structural engineer||Needham DBS|
|Services engineer||V3 Consultants|
|General contractor||Ryan Companies|
|Chicago Hounds (UHL) (2006-07)|
Chicago Storm] (MISL II/XSL) (2006–09)
Chicago Shamrox (NLL) (2007–08)
Chicago Slaughter (CIFL/IFL) (2007–13)
Chicago Bliss (LFL) (2009–10, 2013–14, 2018–19)
Chicago Outlaws (CILL) (2011–13)
Chicago Express (ECHL) (2011–12)
Chicago Soul FC (MISL III) (2012–13)
Chicago Mustangs (MASL/M2) (2014-15, 2017-19)
Windy City Bulls (G League) (2016–present)
The venue was a joint venture between Sears Holdings, Ryan Companies, and the Village of Hoffman Estates. The project began in 1998 however plans were not finalized until 2005. Construction began in July 2005. The venue opened as Sears Centre on October 26, 2006, with performances by Duran Duran and Bob Dylan.
In 2011, the Village of Hoffman Estates took over ownership of the arena after Ryan Companies walked away from the arena due to the arena's lack of success. However, since the village took over the arena and hired Global Spectrum to manage it, the arena has shown improvement.
The naming rights to the arena were not affected by Sears Holdings declaring bankruptcy in 2018, with the company paying $1.5 million to secure naming rights for an additional 18 months. On June 23, 2020, the Village of Hoffman Estates approved an $11.5 million deal to rename the venue to NOW Arena, with the naming rights belonging to the NOW Health Group, a family-owned natural products manufacturer based in Bloomingdale, Illinois. The name change would officially take effect on September 1, 2020.
- In 2008 and from 2010 until the present, the Illinois Recreational Cheerleading Association (IRCA) hold their annual state championship at the facility.
- The fourth annual TNA Bound for Glory Professional wrestling pay-per-view event on October 12, 2008, which was TNA's first ever event in the Chicago area.
- The arena was also the venue which featured TNA's first ever Impact Wrestling outside of Orlando, Florida, on March 14, 2013.
- On May 19 and 20, 2011, it played host to the Chicago audition stages in the first season of the Fox singer search program The X Factor.
- In 2009 and 2011, it played host to Strikeforce events.
- September 12–14, 2014: Played host to the Davis Cup, hosting matches between the United States and Slovakia.
- 2014 Skate America
- The 2017 and 2018 Ken Kraft Midlands Championships, hosted by Northwestern University's wrestling program, have been hosted at the Sears Centre.
- September 1, 2018: All In, the largest ever independent professional wrestling event, presented by Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks, featuring the top names in the indies and certain wrestlers from New Japan Pro-Wrestling, like Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada. This event was the springboard for the creation of All Elite Wrestling (AEW) several months later. In commemoration of All In a permanent plaque was installed near the front entrance of the arena.
- August 31, 2019: hosted the wrestling pay-per-view event AEW All Out, at which AEW crowned its first world champion.
- November 27, 2019: hosted the Thanksgiving Eve episode of Dynamite.
- Now Arena (formerly Sears Centre) show guide to Chicago
- "Building Specifications" (PDF). Sears Centre Arena Promoter Guide. Hoffman Estates, Illinois: 16. June 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- Halberstadt, Doug (January 20, 2015). "Sears Centre offers variety of sporting events". Rock River Times. Rockford, Illinois. Archived from the original on October 14, 2015. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "'Sears Centre' Selected as Name for New Arena in Hoffman Estates" (Press release). Hoffman Estates, Illinois: Sears, Roebuck and Co. February 7, 2005. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- Bernstein, David (May 18, 2020). "Sears Helped Build a Giant Entertainment Arena. Now, a Suburb Pays Millions to Keep It Running". ProPublica. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- Meyer, Cheryl (July 20, 2005). "Groundbreaking is set for Sears Centre arena". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- "Andy Taylor Exits Duran Duran". Pollstar. October 26, 2006. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- Burke, David (October 20, 2006). "Entering a new arena". Quad-City Times. Lee Enterprises. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- Peterson, Eric (October 9, 2018). "Hoffman Estates renews naming rights for Sears Centre". Business Ledger. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- "Hoffman Estates adjusts to owning arena". Daily Herald. Paddock Publications. July 7, 2010. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
- "Sears Centre shining for Hoffman Estates". Daily Herald. Paddock Publications. June 8, 2010. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
- Isidore, Chris (October 15, 2018). "Sears, the store that changed America, declares bankruptcy". CNN Business. Time Warner. Archived from the original on October 16, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- Zumbach, Lauren (June 23, 2020). "Sears name disappearing from another Chicago-area building. Hoffman Estates arena gets a new name this fall". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
- "NOW Health Group to take over naming rights to Sears Centre". Daily Journal. July 1, 2020. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
- Peterson, Eric (September 1, 2020). "The Sears Centre Arena has a new name today: the Now Arena". Daily Herald. Paddock Publications. Archived from the original on December 19, 2020. Retrieved September 3, 2020.
- "Bound For Glory 2008 In Chicago". TNAWrestling.com. 2007-09-20. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
- "All In sellout a genuine surprise to Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks". 23 May 2018. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
- "All In Venue Commemorates Event With a Plaque".
- "Kenlin, Shchennikova Win All-Around In The Hopes Division Of 2013 U.S. Challenge". Retrieved July 2, 2014.
- "Ross Wins All-Around At 2013 Secret U.S. Classic". Retrieved July 2, 2014.
- "Single-Session Tickets For 2014 Secret U.S. Classic Go On Sale May 16". 14 May 2014. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
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