BMO Harris Bank Center Mission:
As an Agency of Local Government, the BMO Harris Bank Center Authority operates a multipurpose public assembly facility and provides a variety of programming opportunities to the broadest spectrum of residents within our primary marketing area. Our commitment is to provide the highest level of service to our guests; a safe, comfortable environment; and fiscal accountability. By succeeding in these endeavors, the Authority stimulates economic development and enhances the overall quality of life in the Rockford Metropolitan Area.
About The BMO Harris Bank Center:
Since first opening in 1981, the BMO Harris Bank Center has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Rockford by bringing diverse, high quality live entertainment and sporting events to the region. The staggering array of world-class entertainment seen at the venue includes Gold and Platinum selling artists of all musical genres, Academy, Grammy, and Tony award winners, Olympic Gold Medalists, superstars and world champions of all sports, circuses, monster trucks, dancing horses and mice on ice… even a cast of life-sized robotic prehistoric dinosaurs! Millions of patrons have been to the thousands of events at the BMO Harris Bank Center featuring some of the greatest entertainers and athletes the world has to offer.
In November of 2006 the BMO Harris Bank Center Authority, in partnership with the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, unveiled plans for a $23 million renovation. Renovation plans were focused on enhancing the patron experience, attracting corporate clientele, increasing revenue-generating amenities, and increasing awareness in the region. The project included extending the ice surface to 200’, adding a state-of-the-art video scoreboard, club boxes and a club lounge, 11 Executive Suites, a new press box, a 200-person group terrace, additional bathrooms, an exterior façade update, a new box office and new entrance on the south west corner of the venue. Ground was broken on June 21, 2007 and the majority of the renovations were completed by December of 2008.
But renovations to the facility were only part of the plan. To further enhance the patron experience, the BMO Harris Bank Center Authority completed the purchase of an American Hockey League franchise in February of 2007 and entered into an unprecedented 10-year affiliation agreement with the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks. Now Rockford IceHogs fans enjoy a higher caliber of hockey with future stars of the NHL. The AHL strengthens Rockford’s presence in the region competing against teams such as Chicago and Milwaukee and projects Rockford on to the national and international scene with matchups against teams from cities including Cleveland, San Antonio, Grand Rapids, Toronto and Winnipeg.
Since November of 2007, the BMO Harris Bank Center has enjoyed perhaps its most successful period with some of the most popular and diverse shows to ever appear in Rockford. The result has been nearly 30 different sold out performances including Brad Paisley, Kelly Clarkson and Reba McIntire, Thunder Nationals Monster Truck Racing events, Disney High School Musical the Ice Tour, Toby Keith, Larry the Cable Guy, Mötley Crüe, Blue Man Group, Jeff Dunham, Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, and countless Rockford IceHogs hockey games. The BMO Harris Bank Center also was among one of first venues in North America to host Walking with Dinosaurs, the Live Experience in March of 2008. The show, featuring 15 life-sized, realistic animatronic dinosaurs, shattered box office records and brought thousands of patrons from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa and beyond to witness the incredible performances.
With the recent renovations and attendance records, the future of the facility beams brighter than ever before. By building on the successes of the past and reaching forward for new opportunities, the BMO Harris Bank Center will continue to fulfill its mission to stimulate economic development and enhance the overall quality of life in the Rockford Region.
Rockford Quick Facts
- With a population of 1.1 million individuals within a 50-mile radius, Rockford is strategically positioned as a mid-point between Chicago, Moline, Madison, and Milwaukee. Rockford’s population is more than 150,000...smaller than Chicago, but bigger than Peoria or Springfield.
- Rockford is the county seat of Winnebago County, population more than 278,000.
- The city encompasses 56 square miles, while the county covers 519 square miles.
- The metro area population is more than 400,000.
- Manufacturing is the Rockford Region’s largest industry. Rockford companies supply the world with precision cutting tools, fasteners (nuts, bolts, screws, nails, etc.), aerospace components, machine parts and automobiles, among other things.
- Rockford is a regional shopping center, and the city’s hospitals and clinics make it a regional medical center as well.