— Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans today for a large-scale tourism and
economic development project near McCormick Place, one that includes
construction of a 10,000-seat, multipurpose events center to serve as the new
home for the DePaul Blue Demons.
addition to hosting home games for DePaul men’s and women’s basketball teams
and serving as a practice facility, the events center will support other
high-profile functions for both DePaul and the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition
Authority (MPEA), including DePaul graduation ceremonies and special events, as
well as Chicago’s convention-related business.
events center is planned for a site north of Cermak Road between Indiana and
Prairie avenues with the construction cost to be shared evenly between DePaul
and the MPEA.
on the facility is targeted to begin in 2014, and it is expected to open in
time for the 2016-2017 college basketball season, accommodating 17 men’s games
and probably 10 women’s. Since 1980, the Blue Demons men’s basketball team has
primarily played home games at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.
the McCormick Place entertainment district along with the redevelopment of Navy
Pier is a vital step in tapping the full potential of the city of Chicago,” said
Mayor Emanuel. “These projects represent a major economic engine for Chicago,
injecting millions of dollars into our local economy and creating thousands of
construction and full-time jobs. From the moment, I took office I have focused
on attracting people to Chicago and showing off this wonderful city, and these
two projects will leave a lasting impact on the city for generations.”
McCormick Place location serves not only DePaul and its city campus locations,
but also is convenient via public transportation and major expressways making
it accessible to all of Chicagoland, including an estimated 103,000 DePaul
facility will bring the Blue Demons much closer to the largest segment of our
fan base and will add significantly to the momentum that our basketball
programs have been building in recent years,” said the Rev. Dennis H.
Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul.
are pleased that we can assist the MPEA and Chicago achieve their tourism and
neighborhood revitalization goals in the process. It is but one of the many
partnerships that DePaul has formed in recent years in our effort to fulfill
our commitment to strengthen the connection between DePaul and the city of
Chicago,” Holtschneider said.
part of DePaul’s strategic plan, this events center will bring the men’s
basketball program back to the city of Chicago. The new facility strengthens
DePaul’s connection to the city and expands its investment in the community.
The university has been a partner on a number of revitalizations with the city
including the development of the Lincoln Park neighborhood in the 1970s and the
transformation of the Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Building at 14 East
Jackson. Additional projects include the preservation and renovation of the Goldblatt’s
building in the early 1990s in the South Loop and the development of the
University Center in early 2000s.
addition to the university’s legal clinics, community music school, children’s
theatre and the DePaul Art Museum, DePaul has recently formed alliances with
Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and
Science, Chicago History Museum, Facing History and Ourselves, Catholic
Theological Union, Gordon Tech College Prep and Lake View High School — all
with the intention of finding ways to strengthen the university’s connections
with the Chicago area.
proposed multipurpose events center will immediately improve our ability to
attract new shows. And it will help revitalize the entire neighborhood,
creating jobs and economic opportunity in the process — all of which benefits
the entire city and region. It’s a true public benefit to have DePaul as a
private partner in this venture,” said MPEA CEO Jim Reilly.
new facility will include no fewer than six locker rooms, including dedicated
locker rooms for the DePaul men’s and women’s basketball programs, two locker
rooms for officials and visitors locker rooms; training rooms with suitable
conditioning equipment and hydro-therapy stations; offices for coaches; sound
system, video, scoreboard and ribbon-board; wireless and TV capabilities,
including TV truck access points; media, hospitality and interview space;
concessions space; auxiliary box office; merchandise and gift shop; and
internal and external signage.
will fund this investment through a combination of sources, including ticket
sales, naming rights, revenues generated by DePaul Athletics and Big East
Conference. It is expected that funds also will be generated from those most
committed to the university’s athletic programs.
DePaul Blue Demons have had a long and storied tradition in college
basketball,” said James M. Jenness, chair of DePaul’s board of trustees. “We
are looking for our new home at McCormick Place to play a key role in the future
of that tradition.”