I support Northwestern University’s efforts to not only build their new state-of-the-art sports stadium but also to expand the uses allowed within the stadium beyond football games.

This project will serve the community in many different ways, providing new uses that local residents can enjoy but also creating a much needed draw for visitors into our community.

Those visitors are an essential component needed to support both City finances as well as small locally-owned businesses.

As those visitors patronize local businesses, this directly supports our employees, the majority of whom are also Evanston residents.

Please bear that in mind, it’s not just small business owners, it’s the thousands of employees we all collectively provide employment to.

Direct and immediate beneficiaries will be our local resident employees who will do better when our businesses do better.

As the current chairman of the North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau, this project provides a marketable destination to expand customer draw into our community.

And there is no better tax revenue stream than visitors coming into a community and spending money.

Tax revenue coming from those outside of our community should be the most prized revenue stream that a municipality can hope to enhance.

They are people who do not live here, do not require extensive City, educational or support services, yet provide direct tax revenue to the community at large.

The benefits of this project are far reaching, something most communities can only dream of achieving.

We all need to step up and embrace this project. Work with the University to mitigate any potential issues, but let’s make this happen, concerts and all.

Dan Kelch is an owner of the downtown Evanston restaurants The Blue Horse Tavern, Five & Dime, Lulus and Taco Diablo.

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