DePaul Opens Wintrust Arena With "Lively Crowd" But Falls Short Of Sellout
DePaul Univ. on Saturday "swung open the doors" for the official opening of Wintrust Arena, the "intimate new home for DePaul basketball" in downtown Chicago, according to Shannon Ryan of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. DePaul had spent 37 years at Rosemont's "musty Allstate Arena." The official attendance of 10,194 for Saturday's game against Notre Dame was "slightly less than a sell-out." Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said that he sees DePaul "making progress" -- and that the $165M arena is "part of that plan." Brey added the arena had a "great atmosphere" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/12). Brey said of the new venue, "It's probably 20 years overdue. This is what DePaul needs." In Chicago, Eli Hershkovich noted Wintrust Arena has 22 suites and 479 premium club seats, as well as "showcasing NBA-like locker rooms and training facilities." DePaul F Tre'Darius McCallum said, "The atmosphere was great. The student section was packed. The fans were behind us the whole time. If they keep coming out to our games supporting, it'll help us out a lot more" (Chicago DAILY HERALD, 11/12). The AP wrote there was a "lively crowd on hand," and DePaul hopes to "elevate their program with the new arena seven miles from campus." Allstate Arena "was 14 miles away" (AP, 11/11). Student newspaper THE DEPAULIA's Andrew Hattersley noted Wintrust Arena has a "spread out design with ample space between concession stands" (THE DEPAULIA, 11/11).