Chicago Skyway name not set in stone

News Northwest Indiana News April 28, 2006
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The city of Chicago recently announced it will sell the naming rights to the Chicago Skyway, but Indiana officials say they will not follow in Chicago’s tracks with the Indiana Toll Road, the Northwest Indiana News reported.

“It’s not even on our radar screen,” said Chuck Schalliol, budget director for the state of Indiana.

But just as the city of Chicago did with the Skyway, Indiana retained naming rights to the Toll Road when it sold the right to collect tolls along the turnpike for 75 years to the Cintra-Marquarie consortium, Schalliol acknowledged. The Austrailian-Spanish consortium also has the 99-year lease on the Skyway.

Indiana officials hinted at one time that Toll Road naming rights could leverage benefits for taxpayers beyond the $3.85-billion lease payment, the Northwest Indiana News reported.

The city of Chicago is excited about its effort to recoup money for taxpayers through selling the right to name the Chicago Skyway for the next 20 years, according to Lisa Schrader, spokeswoman for the city's Office of Management and Budget.

Bidding could begin and close sometime this summer, she said. The office has already budgeted $3 million in lease proceeds from the sale for 2006, which means a lease for 20 years could be worth $60 million or more, according to the newspaper.

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