Press Release|Public Finance

KBRA Assigns AA- to Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (Illinois) McCormick Place Expansion Project Refunding Bonds, Series 2023A and 2023B; Affirms Parity Debt; Outlook Remains Stable

20 Sep 2023   |   New York


KBRA assigns a long-term rating of AA- to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) McCormick Place Expansion Project Refunding Bonds, Series 2023A and McCormick Place Expansion Project Refunding Bonds, Series 2023B. KBRA additionally affirms the AA- rating for parity debt. The outlook remains Stable.

Key Credit Considerations

The rating actions reflect the following key credit considerations:

Credit Positives:

  • State sales tax revenue support for bond repayment offsets cyclical vulnerability of Authority tax revenues; bond security features strong State non-impairment language.
  • Expansive state-wide sales tax base provides extraordinary coverage of more than 25x maximum permissible debt service.
  • State appropriation actions in support of MPEA underscore the importance of McCormick Place to regional and state economy.

Credit Challenges:

  • Bonds are secured by restaurant, hotel, rental car, and sales taxes, which prior to rebounding had been adversely affected by COVID-19 related restrictions.
  • Determination to match Authority tax revenues with annual debt service requirements, and minimize application of State sales tax revenues, may necessitate continued debt restructuring.
  • Vulnerability of State appropriation dependent payment mechanism underscored by absence of timely action in 2015.

Rating Sensitivities

For Upgrade

  • Authority tax revenues increase sharply and provide coverage of debt service requirements, obviating the need for debt restructuring.

For Downgrade

  • State leverages Build Illinois Bond debt levels to the maximum permitted level in combination with a significant economic downturn that results in a sharp reduction in available State sales tax revenues for MPEA Bond debt service.

To access rating and relevant documents, click here.


805 Third Avenue
29th Floor
New York, NY 10022
+1 (212) 702-0707
Contact Us

© 2010-2023 Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Kroll Bond Rating Agency, LLC is not affiliated with Kroll Inc., Kroll Associates Inc., KrollOnTrack Inc., or their affiliated businesses.