DePaul In Discussions To Move Men's Basketball Games Back Into Chicago
In a deal "being pushed" by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, DePaul Univ. is "talking about moving its basketball games to a new facility that would be built for it near McCormick Place," according to sources cited by Greg Hinz of CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS. Sources confirmed that the school "also has been talking" with Bulls Chair Jerry Reinsdorf "about playing in the United Center and/or sharing a practice facility." DePaul is believed to be looking for a facility "that would hold about 12,000 fans, compared to the United Center's 22,000-person capacity." The Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority, which owns McCormick Place, "is not now in the sporting business," but it has more than $100M in "untapped bonding authority, funds that could be used to construct an arena." In addition, "adequate land is available within walking distance of McCormick Place and its large parking lots." DePaul in a statement said, "As noted in our strategic plan V2018, one of DePaul's goals is to seek opportunities to bring men's basketball back into the city. To that end, DePaul will consider any proposal that will help us accomplish that goal. As of how, however, nothing definitive has been forthcoming" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 9/28). Emanuel yesterday in a press conference said, "DePaul for years has been talking about a stadium in Chicago that's better for their basketball team, better for their fans and better to be close to home. It is in our interest as a city that they choose Chicago. And so we're going to work together to look at Chicago being a home for DePaul's Blue Demons" (ESPN.com, 10/1).