It looks as though I stand corrected. DePaul University has switched gears and is now considering moving their men’s basketball home games to the United Center instead of the All State Arena in Rosemont, reported the Chicago Tribune on Monday. Back in March the reports were saying DePaul president Reverend Dennis Holtschneider wanted to build an arena in Chicago specifically dedicated to the Blue Demons, but now it looks like DePaulians will be sharing a house with the Bulls and Blackhawks.
It’s definitely time for a change. The bus ride from Lincoln Park down to Rosemont in weekday rush hour traffic is pee-your-pants kind of tragic. DePaul has played at the arena in Rosemont for the past 30 years – it’s since gone through some name changes Rosemont Horizon and currently the AllState Arena.
Here are a few things to consider:
- The United Center is closest to UIC’s campus – definitely not DePaul in Lincoln Park.
- There isn’t a direct CTA bus/L route from LP to the UC. I’m sure students will get bussed, but driving through city traffic can be just as rough as traffic on the expressway. The United Center is most accessible from the Loop on the lovely express Madison bus.
- DePaul fans barely filled up the All State – we’re going to look pathetic at the massive UC unless we significantly build up our fan base – maybe get a team with a winning record.
- Playing at the United Center has a prestigious aura since players like Derrick Rose and Michael Jordan have played/are playing on the very same court. It may very well be an excellent recruiting tool!
So all in all, we will see. More to come soon!
DePaul University is trying to get back on the NCAA maps for men’s basketball, and the first step in their strategic plan is creating a new arena near the school’s campus in Lincoln Park. YEAAAA! Reverend Dennis Holtschneider (the school president) is making moves!
This plan requires approval from the university’s board of trustees and will be on the agenda for their May meeting. They currently have two rumored potential locations: the Finkl Steel property which is walking distance from the DePaul campus and the Morton Salt Company property on Elston Avenue near both the Kennedy Expressway and the Chicago River.
DePaul’s current contract with the All State Arena in Rosemont only runs through 2015, if approved, this project would move forward in a very timely manner. The new arena is part of the master plan to attract Chicago area basketball stars to choose DePaul for their collegiate careers. Chicago has plenty of talent in this city, but DePaul did not have much to offer in comparison to other universities around the area, “Come play at our school and take a 20-minute bus ride to your arena” – yea no thanks. From the late 1970’s through the mid 1990’s, DePaul was one of the nation’s top college programs and completely dominated the Chicago area, bringing back this success is the ultimate goal.
As a DePaul alumna, this idea is thrilling. DePaul students do not want to get on a bus, sit in traffic on the Kennedy Expressway for over an hour (I had a few bathroom scares during that trip – it’s so long), and go all the way out to Rosemont to cheer on their Blue Demons. There is a true disconnect having the stadium so far away from the actual school, it definitely didn’t help promote school spirit. I also have a little theory, the two programs that currently house their stadiums on campus, Women’s Basketball and Women’s Softball, are DePaul’s most successful programs…I say, bring on the new stadium! I would love to one day get the chance to cheer on my alma mater during March Madness!