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Trade Show Losses At McCormick Place Amid Pandemic Has Cost Nearly $1.7 Billion

CHICAGO (CBS) -- More than $1.5 billion – that is the impact the coronavirus has had just at McCormick Place this year.

CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot on Tuesday dug into the numbers and looked at how McCormick Place will turn around.

In May, the CBS 2 Investigators reported McCormick Place would be open this month for conventions. But during a pandemic, things definitely change – and indeed McCormick Place is not open for any such thing.

The International Manufacturing Technology Show has been a fixture at McCormick Place for more than 70 years. Those attending fill all four buildings.

The show was scheduled to take place this September, but now, the IMTS website shows, the event has been pushed all the way back to September 2022 at McCormick Place.

Last month, nine major events canceled plans to be at the convention center during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those conventions could have brought in an estimated $176.5 million for the city.

As of July 11, 136 events were either cancelled or postponed.

The economic impact amounts to $1,690,308,280. Hotels also suffered, with nearly 1,181,045 room nights lost.

A total of 61 percent of the canceled conventions are planning to return to McCormick Place for future events.

Among the first is the ASI Show. Their website shows they plan to be at McCormick Place from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. They are working on safety measures to host the event safely with social distancing.

At one point, parts of McCormick Place were transformed into a COVID-19 Alternative Care Facility. On May 1, some of the temporary space, started to be dismantled because it wasn't needed.

That Covid-19 care facility is scheduled to be removed completely by Aug. 23. Meantime, Le Mignot was able to confirm 32 of the 35 companies and organizations listed on the McCormick Place website plan to host their conventions there between November of this year and July of 2021.

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