CHICAGO (CBS) — A published report says in the near future, the Bulls may not be the only basketball team using the United Center as its home base.
The Chicago Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed reported Thursday evening that DePaul University is in talks with officials at the United Center about the moving Blue Demons basketball games to the Near West Side stadium.
The Blue Demons now play at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, formerly known as Rosemont Horizon. In July, Crain’s Chicago real Estate Daily reported the team was looking for a new venue for home games, in large part because the remote facility in Rosemont makes it difficult for the team to attract top talent.
Among the rumored locations in the Crain’s article was the site of the A. Finkl & Sons Steel plant, at Southport and Armitage avenues along the Chicago River’s North Branch. The steel plant is moving to the opposite side of the city, to a new facility at 1355 E. 93rd St.
Also under consideration were the site of the Morton Salt plant at 1357 N. Elston Ave., and a DePaul parking lot on the northwest corner of Sheffield and Fullerton avenues just steps from the Fullerton Red-Brown-Purple Line ‘L’ stop, Crain’s reported in July.
But all of those sites posed zoning and transportation issues, Crain’s reported, as well as concerns about neighborhood congestion.
In her report, Sneed points out that Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently got Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who co-owns the United Center, to agree to move the Bulls’ practice facility from the Berto Center in Deerfield to an Chicago location.
Sneed suggests that the Blue Demons could also use the new facility, which is tentatively scheduled to be built on the site of a parking lot across the street from the United Center
The men’s basketball team gained prominence in the 1970s and ’80s under legendary coaches such as Ray Meyer and his son, Joey. Under Ray Meyer, the Blue Demons made the NCAA Final Four during the 1978-79 season. The team has been played its home games at the Rosemont Horizon/Allstate Arena since 1980.