The city of Chicago has announced plans to develop a 10,000-seat downtown events center that would serve as home to DePaul University’s basketball teams, part of a larger development project that will also include two new hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues surrounding the McCormick Place convention center and upgrades to Navy Pier.
The city of Chicago, DePaul, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and Navy Pier will partner in the project, designed to provide a boost to the city’s tourism, convention and trade-show industries.
“This 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 Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, DePaul’s president.
Construction of the $173 million events center, which will include an investment of $70 million from DePaul, is expected to begin in 2014 with completion by the start of the 2016–2017 season. The remaining money will come from hotel bed taxes and city tax-increment financing.
Under the agreement, DePaul will retain naming rights for the arena, which will be bordered by 21st Street, Indiana Avenue, Cermak Road and Prairie Avenue. A new Green Line train stop is also being constructed two blocks away. The new facility will feature at least 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, as well as offices for coaches and technology that accommodate a range of media.