Bill Cosby to open NIU Convocation Center

Bill Cosby to open NIU Convocation Center


DEKALB—America’s favorite comedian, Bill Cosby, will headline opening night at Northern Illinois University’s Convocation Center Friday, Aug. 23.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, June 28 at all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets can also be charged by phone at (312) 559-1212, ordered online at, or purchased at Castle Bank, 141 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb, starting at 10 a.m., Friday, June 28. Prices range from $15 to $75.

The Convocation Center is located at 1525 W. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb, on the western edge of the university campus.

The Aug. 23 show will be part of a weeklong series of events celebrating the university’s new venue. Other opening events will include a gala celebration for students and their families, a multi-band concert featuring some of the top acts on the

college circuit today and a series of VIP and community open houses. Athletics will take the spotlight in the arena later this fall when volleyball, wrestling and men’s and women’s basketball move into the facility.

The main event on opening night, however, will be the dean of American comics, Bill Cosby. The show will be presented “in the round,” and will incorporate the arena’s video scoreboards, providing excellent views from every seat in the house.

Over the course of a career spanning five decades, Cosby has achieved success in multiple mediums. He has starred in numerous television shows and is credited by some with virtually saving the sitcom format with The Cosby Show, which ruled the ratings from 1984-92; he is the author of several best-selling books including Fatherhood and Time Flies as well as the award-winning Little Bill series for children; and he is the creator/producer of hit cartoon series ranging from the Fat Albert series of the 1970s, to the Little Bill cartoons that air on Nickelodeon today.

Meanwhile, Cosby has remained one of the top stand-up comedians in America. It was in that role that he achieved his breakthrough success in the 1960s. His humorous takes on everyday life continue to sell out crowds across America, delighting crowds that cut across all generations and walks of life.

“Bill Cosby is the perfect opening act for this facility,” said John Gordon, director of NIU’s Convocation Center. “He epitomizes the top-of-the-line entertainment we plan to book. Naturally, being located on a major university campus, we are also going to aggressively pursue rock bands, hip hop, country and other contemporary acts that will appeal to students on campus. But we are also going to book acts that, like Mr. Cosby, will appeal to a broader audience,” Gordon said.

“We hope to quickly establish ourselves as the hot new entertainment destination in the region—from the western suburbs to Rockford, to Rochelle to Sterling, and beyond. We plan to attract the type of top-name acts people typically have to travel to the city to see, then present them in a facility that is more conveniently located, with fewer parking hassles, and in a more intimate setting. We have been talking to promoters, and they like the location on a university campus near the suburbs and a major population center such as Rockford,” he said. In addition to music and athletics, the NIU Convocation Center is equipped to handle trade shows, indoor motor sports, large-scale touring theater productions and a wide variety of other entertainment, Gordon said.

“This first week of events is very exciting and should set the stage nicely for all that will follow,” he added.

For more information on events at the NIU Convocation Center, visit the World Wide Web at

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