DePaul Blue Demons Say No to United Center

The DePaul basketball program is looking for a new home, but an offer of free rent and all ticket revenues from the United Center not enticing enough

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The DePaul Blue Demons basketball program is looking for a new home, but it doesn’t look like that home will be the United Center.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting the Blue Demons have said no to an offer made by Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz who are both co-owners of the West Side arena. The deal would’ve given DePaul free rent and all ticket revenues for Blue Demons games played at the United Center for at least 10 years.

Instead, the university is pursuing building a facility, which would tentatively sit on a site near McCormick Place in the South Loop.

The university has struggled with attendance issues for basketball games, mainly because they have to play in Rosemont at the Allstate Arena, 15 miles from the Lincoln Park campus. Add in traffic and it can take up to 45 minutes just to get to the arena from the city.

But building an arena on the McCormick Place site will prove difficult for the private university for several reasons.

The agency that owns the actual convention center doesn’t own the necessary land that DePaul would need to build its new arena. Additionally, DePaul is looking to build the facility with assistance from the public sector and 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti isn’t exactly thrilled with that idea.

"There are other places to put it," the alderman said.

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