News & Events

Scratching Your Automotive Itch! 102nd Chicago Auto Show Set for Feb. 12-21 Run

Feeling the need more excitement in your life? Has your automotive relationship become boring, without the fire and sparks you had at the beginning? Do you crave the passion of the convertible, but feel constrained to keep the relationship with your 4-door sedan? Is the reliability and devotion to frugality from your econobox in constant competition with the siren song of something racy, curvy and utterly frivolous?

Well, pssst—Here’s a secret. As they say everywhere from eHarmony to “It’s OK to look!” But how do you know what’s right? Where do you turn? It’s simple. The Chicago Auto Show, Feb. 12-21, is poised to give show goers the ability to test their compatibility on at least 29 different levels.

In a time when everything appears to be going virtual, the auto show remains a tool that is valued far beyond its electronic counterparts. The visual, tactile and social components of massive displays that assault the senses will again delight and motivate huge crowds who visit McCormick Place for this year’s edition of the Chicago Auto Show, Feb. 12-21.

“There’s no single element or event considered to be the most effective sales tool in the automotive purchasing process,” says John Phelan, chairman of the 2010 edition of the nation’s biggest automotive exposition. “But the concept of the auto show has proven itself to be one of the best--and nowhere else is that concept executed better than right here in Chicago.”

The Windy City’s expansive lakefront exposition center will feature the industry’s latest range of vehicles during the show’s 10-day run and include cars, trucks, concepts, sport utility, crossover and competition vehicles, all available for side-by-side comparison for those in the market or simply to drool over by those seeking a diversion from the winter doldrums.

“The other critical component is the simple enjoyment of going to a family-oriented event,” says auto show co-chairman Kevin Mize, who also is the current chairman of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association. “It’s a terrific value for a family to visit the show, and in times like these, value is always a consideration. Additionally, we never lose sight of the fact that the second word in ‘auto show’ is ‘show’! A family can have a great time together and enjoy it on a variety of interest levels.”

Phelan concurred with Mize, saying: “You’d expect to see families at our show, but one of the really fun parts for us is the generational aspect. I can remember coming to the show as a boy with my father and now I look forward to my children and grandchildren visiting. This is a wonderful Chicago tradition. Two generations of the same family coming to the show is commonplace, with three not unusual at all, as well. We enjoy a history and tradition in Chicago that dates back to 1901.”

The show’s expansive displays will allow patrons to comparison shop with a short walk rather than having to drive from dealership to dealership. Additionally, information gathered by many prospective buyers on the Internet can be augmented by talking to product specialists and sales people who populate the displays. Inquisitive show visitors might find it interesting to discover that the people from one manufacturer also know a great deal about the competition in order to help the decision process move down the line.


Tickets for the auto show are $11 for adults; $7 for children 7-12, children 6 and under free when they accompany a paying parent; senior citizens age 62 and older, $7. Advance ticket sales available online at Weekday discount tickets ($4 off the regular adult admission) available at area new-car dealers and from participating banks. Weekday group discounts are available.

Special Days

While always a great value for the price, the 2010 Chicago Auto Show will again offer special weekday price reductions for a reduced rate, such as Women’s Day, Tuesday, February 16. Admission price is $7 for all women. Manufacturers will present special women-oriented programs on vehicle purchasing, leasing, maintenance, upkeep and sports activities.

Chicago Auto Show Food Drive will be held Wednesday, February 17 - Friday, February 19, Show patrons who bring three cans of food, donated to the Chicago Christian Industrial League, will be admitted for $7.

Additionally, the Chicago Auto Show has partnered with local organizations to offer Weekday Discount coupons to the 2010 Chicago Auto Show that can be redeemed for $4 off a full-price  adult admission to the Chicago  Auto Show on Friday, February 12 and Monday, February 15 through Friday, February 19.

Show patrons can obtain coupons at the following participating locations:
• CATA Member New-Car Dealers (while supplies last)
• Chicagoland State Farm Insurance Offices (while supplies last)
• Chicagoland Shell Gas Stations, with $15 purchase. (while supplies last)

Patrons can also use specially marked Pepsi cans to obtain the Weekday Discount. The Pepsi can showing the promotion must be brought to the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place to be redeemed. Special redemption desks will be located adjacent to the two ticket box office locations where the can will be redeemed for a coupon good for one $4 discount off the regular adult admission ticket. 

Web Site:

The auto show’s extensive Web site is a landslide of information for anyone heading to the show or in need of information about it. Everything from ticket prices to parking; from live Web cams to Chicago Transit Authority routes and schedules; from our history to detailed maps of the show floor, it’s all there on

“Our site provides a wealth of options for anyone heading to McCormick Place for the show,” said Jerry Cizek, co-general manager of event. “Not only is it a great resource for information, but it’s convenient, too. We even make it simple to avoid box office lines by offering tickets online, too. Patrons can print them at home as you would an airline boarding pass and make your auto show experience almost effortless.”

Tickets purchased online are valid for any public day of the 2010 Chicago Auto Show, Feb. 12- 21. Online ticket sales will conclude at 6:00 p.m., February 21, 2010 and are not refundable.

102 Editions and Still Running Strong

Why is the auto show such a success? What keeps people returning year after year?

“It’s a combination of factors,” concluded show chairman Phelan. “But mainly I think it’s because it’s a fun day with the family at an affordable price. We connect with our audiences on so many levels. Whether it’s searching for that new vehicle, enjoying the fantasy of the exotic cars, the spectacle of incredible exhibits—some even where you can take a ride on an off-trail track—with astounding graphics, colors and sounds, it’s just plain fun. Family memories are made and renewed on our show floor every year.”

Co-chairman Kevin Mize added: “When making the decision for what many consider to be their second biggest investment, the Internet is clearly a useful tool, but there’s nothing that compares to the ‘laying on of hands’—and eyes—to pique the interest of consumers and turn potential buyers into happy new-car owners. That’s the magic that’s made the Chicago Auto Show a hit with Chicagoans for more than a century and for many years to come.”

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