Governor Rauner recently signed an executive order to create the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation, a nonprofit group that will work with an existing state agency to jumpstart job growth in Illinois. The Kane County Cougars is an excellent example of what can be accomplished with a private-public partnership (P3). As has been the case with the Kane County Forest Preserve and the Cougars, Representative Andersson supports Governor Rauner’s expanded use of the P3 concept to boost economic development efforts for Illinois, make our state more competitive and draw in more business opportunities.
The Kane County Cougars, a Class A minor league baseball team that plays in the Midwest League, is housed in Geneva, Illinois, about 35 miles west of Chicago. The Cougars have had many great players go on to play Major League Baseball, and more than 130 former Cougars have reached the Major Leagues.
The Cougars baseball team has spent the past 25 years in Kane County, and just completed the most successful year in franchise history. Andersson wanted to commemorate this milestone, and celebrate one of Kane County’s beloved sports teams. It was a momentous year for the team, as the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark welcomed more than 400,000 fans during the organization’s 25th anniversary season, and went 84-54 (the third-best record in franchise history) while winning the Western Division second half championship.
As a public and private enterprise, Andersson finds the Kane County Cougars to be a great example of successful economic development in the community, and one that has great support, with the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark continually welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors for games and events every year. In addition to baseball games, the park has been available to host meetings, conferences, other private parties, and this year the ballpark will be hosting off season concerts and events as well.
“The ball park here and the facility that the Cougars have is a great draw for the community, not to mention the outstanding baseball being played here year after year. These players are the future of baseball and it is amazing that they get their start right here in Kane County. The Kane County Cougars and the Fifth Third Bank Ballpark have brought great business to the area and it is a cornerstone in the community.” Andersson congratulates the Kane County Cougars on their 25th anniversary of baseball in Geneva, and wishes the team all the best moving forward in their 26th season!