Stirring Things Up At Allstate Arena
By DIANE TURNER-HURNS
Journal & Topics Reporter
As part of their expanded branding efforts, liquor and beer companies in recent years have built namesake convention center lounges around the U.S., including the soon to be finished Budweiser Lounge on the first floor of Rosemont’s Allstate Arena.
The lounges offer an additional entertainment experience for adult event attendees -- and additional revenue for the city or town where lounges are located. For the Budweiser Lounge, expected to be complete by the end of the summer, that is Rosemont.
The newest arena amenity is on the south side of the arena’s first floor. A recent visit to the construction site showed basic infrastructure work is complete. This includes electric, heating and cooling systems.
Once the remaining equipment for the bar, such as the entertainment systems, design elements including the company’s large timeline wall installation, decorations and supplies arrive, construction should wrap up quickly, according to Allstate Arena Director of Marketing Phil Chihoski.
“The new lounge will be a welcome addition to the arena,” Chihoski told the Journal & Topics. “Once the lounge plans were developed and finalized, construction began.”
The completed lounge will offer plenty for patrons including music, large television monitors, a variety of beers, food and other beverages as well as interactive monitors where one can learn about the beverage they are drinking.
Budweiser is known as a “macrobrew company” producing thousands of barrels of beer a year compared to a microbrew which produces beer on a smaller scale. The lounge is expected to offer both types of beer including the Chicago-area’s Goose Island, which Anheuser-Busch Inbev recently purchased. The Anheuser-Busch Inbev company, Budweiser’s parent company, is based in Leuven, Belgium.
The new lounge is in addition to the successful Jack Daniel’s Club lounge which opened in June 2014 on the upper level of the arena where patrons can view the events from the bar. Although the new Budweiser Lounge will not have views of the arena floor, an outdoor area is planned.
The new lounge is being built in a former storage area.
Last November, Rosemont entered into a $2.5 million, five-year agreement with Anheuser-Busch for advertising at village-owned venues including Allstate Arena, Rosemont Theatre, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, MB Financial Park, and the Ballpark at Rosemont. As part of the agreement, the village renovated the lounge space for Budweiser for no more than $150,000. Budweiser will pay the rest, officials said.
The new lounge can also be used for VIP events, special parties and team and school alumni activities.
One thing the Budweiser Lounge does have, that the other arena lounge does not, is a special wall near the entrance which can drop down from the floor or stay up. This depends on the event and where attendees will be entering the lounge from, such as directly from the south side of the parking lot or from within the arena.