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Guide To United Center

October 3, 2010 4:38 PM

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United Center

United Center (cedit: Getty)

UNITED CENTER FACTS:
United Center

(cedit: Getty)

Address: 1901 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60612-2459

Box office information:

Blackhawks: (312) 455-7000

Bulls: (312) 455-4000

Other events: (312) 455-4500

Monday-Saturday, 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. (subject to change depending on event schedules)

Types of Payment Accepted: The United Center Box Office accepts Cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card.
Will Call: tickets held at Will Call can be picked up beginning 90 minutes prior to the start of the actual event.

United Center Crowd

(credit: Getty)

HISTORY

The United Center, or “The UC” as it is often called, is the current home of the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks, the National Basketball Association’s Chicago Bulls, and over 200 sporting and nonsporting events each year, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice, and major music concerts.  It is the largest arena in physical size, but not in seating capacity, in the United States.

As home to the two major sports teams and other events, The United Center replaced the Chicago Stadium, the original “Madhouse on Madison,” which had existed from 1929 to 1994 just down the block at 1800 W. Madison St. Construction on The United Center began in April of 1992 and ended with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 18, 1994. The arena has since taken over the nickname of its predecessor.  The UC’s seating capacity is 23, 500 for most concerts, 20,916 for basketball with standing room of at least 23,129, and 19,717 for hockey with standing room of at least 22,428.

Perhaps the most notable feature of the arena is not even within the arena’s walls. The famous Michael Jordan statue is located outside the east side of the building and was unveiled on November 1, 1994, the same day Jordan’s number 23 was retired by the Bulls. The statue is twelve feet tall and weighs 2,000 pounds. At its base read the numerous accomplishments and honors of Jordan along with a quote from “A River Runs Through It”– “At that moment I knew, surely and clearly, that I was witnessing perfection. He stood before us, suspended above the earth, free from all its laws like a work of art, and I knew, just as surely and clearly, that life is not a work of art, and that the moment could not last.”

In April of 2011, a bust of former Bull Scottie Pippen was unveiled and sits inside the arena on the 100 level concourse. A statue honoring various Blackhawks is located on the site where Chicago Stadium once stood.

For a virtual tour of the arena, including video of suites, select bars within the building, and the conversion of the arena, visit www.unitedcenter.com/unitedcenter/VirtualTour.asp

DRIVING DIRECTIONS:

Coming from the North: Take 90/94 East (Kennedy Expressway) to the Madison St. exit and make a right onto Madison St. Take Madison West. The building will be on your left. 

Coming from the South: Take 55 North to the Damen/Ashland exit and make a left, go northbound for approximately 7 minutes. The building will be on your right. -OR- Take 90/94 West to the Madison St. exit and make a left onto Madison St. Take Madison West. The building will be on your left.

Coming from the East: Take Madison St. West from the city.

Coming from the West: Take 290 East (Eisenhower Expressway) to the Damen St. exit. Take Damen Ave. northbound to Madison St. Make a right onto Madison. The building will be on your left. Specific Area Directions: From Lincoln Park/Lakeview/Wrigley: Take Halsted street South to Madison Street. Make a right onto Madison. The building will be on your left.

Coming from US Cellular Field: Take Halsted Street North to Madison St. Make a left onto Madison. The building will be on your left.

Coming from Downtown(Loop): Take Madison St. West from the city.

Coming from O’Hare Airport: Take 90 East (Kennedy Expressway)toward Chicago. 90 East will merge with 94 East. Continue on 90/94 East to Madison St exit. Take a right onto Madison and proceed west. The building will be on your left.

Coming from Midway Airport: Take Cicero Ave. North to 55 (Stevenson Expressway). Take 55 North to 90/94 West. Take 90/94 West (Dan Ryan Expressway which turns into the Kennedy Expressway) to Madison Street. Exit Madison and make a left onto Madison. The building will be on your left.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION:

CTA “EL” trains:

  • Blue Line
    The stadium is just a few blocks north of the Illinois Medical District stop on the CTA Blue Line. The shortest walk is by exiting the station to Damen Avenue (western-most exit) and walk north on Damen to Madison. To get to the Illinois Medical District stop from the west (including the far West Side and the communities of Forest Park and Oak Park), take a Blue Line train toward O’Hare. From the east and north (including downtown, the Northwest Side, northwest suburbs east of O’Hare and directly from O’Hare Airport), take a Blue Line train toward Forest Park.
  • Green and Pink Lines
    The stadium is two blocks south and three blocks west of the Ashland/Lake stop on the CTA Green and Pink Lines.

To get to the Ashland/Lake station from the west, take a Green Line train toward Ashland/63rd or Cottage Grove, or a Pink Line train toward the Loop. From the east (including downtown or the South Side portions of the Green Line), take a Green Line train toward Harlem/Lake or a Pink Line train toward 54th/Cermak.

CTA Buses

CTA buses #9 Ashland, #19 United Center Express, #20 Madison, #50 Damen or #126 Jackson can be used to get to, or within a few blocks of, the stadium.

For more CTA information, visit to http://www.transitchicago.com or call 836-7000 (from any Chicagoland area code).

 

Metra Trains:

 

Several Metra rail lines connect the Chicago-land suburbs to downtown Chicago.  These rail lines exit downtown at five stations:

LaSalle Street Station exits on LaSalle Street between Van Buren Street and Congress Parkway.

Union Station exits on Canal Street between Adams Street and Jackson Boulevard. Patrons can take the #128 Soldier Field Express buses, which board on Jackson Boulevard east of Canal Street and begin leaving Ogilvie two hours before the game until 30 minutes after

Ogilvie Transportation Center exits on Madison Street and Canal Street.  Patrons can take the #128 Soldier Field Express buses, which  board on Madison and begin leaving Ogilvie two hours before the game until 30 minutes after

South Shore Line runs on the Metra Electric Line from South Bend, Indiana to downtown Chicago, serving the southeast portion of Chicago and northwest Indiana. Exit at the McCormick Place stop at 18th Street and walk one block north to Soldier Field.

Millennium Station exits on Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue.

• For more information regarding schedules, locations, and fares, visit http://www.metrarail.com or call 836-7000 (from any Chicago-land area code).

After arriving by train downtown, the #19 United Center CTA express bus runs about every 10 minutes beginning at Michigan and Randolph south on Michigan and west on Madison to the arena starting 90 minutes prior to event time. This bus does not stop between Halsted and the UC. After the event buses run every few minutes up until an hour.

 

PARKING / TAILGATING:

The United Center has 6,000 spaces in 11 parking lots surrounding the arena. Parking costs are as follows: Cars $20, $25 (Lots C &K) and $35 (Lot H); Buses and Limousines $30. Car rates for Disney and Circus events are $10.00 for Lot F and J, $20.00 for all the other lots. All prices subject to change.

Tailgating in the parking lots of the United Center is strictly prohibited.

ACCESSIBLE SEATING:

The United Center is designed to 100% ADA compliance, and each staff member has been specifically trained in assisting guests with special needs. For questions regarding the accessibility of the arena or for ticket information, call 312-455-4500 and ask for Guest Relations (312-455-4519 TTY). Tickets in wheelchair accessible areas are available on all levels of the United Center, and the arena offers 100 disabled parking spaces located in parking Lot G off of Damen Avenue. All washrooms, restaurants, first aid station, seating areas, Cash Stations, box offices, Concession stands and drinking fountains are all wheelchair accessible.

seatinggarydineen73264898 Guide To United Center

(credit: Gary Dineen/Getty Images)

UNITED CENTER RULES:

General: Cameras are permitted in the arena for sporting events. For concerts and family shows, cameras and flash photography are not permitted. Video cameras and other recording devices are not permitted for family shows or concerts, but they are permitted for sporting events. Video or audio recording of the actual game-in-play is not permitted. Outside food or beverages of any kind are not permitted inside the building. Guests wearing obscene or indecent clothing are not allowed on United Center property. Guest using foul or abusive language or gestures will be escorted from the arena. In accordance with the Chicago Clean Air Act of 2005, the United Center is a smoke-free facility. A designated smoking area is located outside of gate 7 only. Banners, signs, poles and sticks are not permitted inside the United Center. Laser pens and pointers are not permitted. The United Center does have a no-readmittance policy. Policies subject to change depending on the nature of the event.

Children: Children under 36″ in height are not required to have a ticket for admission. Any child who enters without a ticket must comfortably share a seat with an accompanying adult. Children’s I.D. bracelets, which can be marked with the seating location, are available at all Guest Relations booths. This is to assist the United Center in properly reuniting lost children with their parents.

Miscellaneous: Doors to the United Center generally open 1 1/2 hours prior for all sporting events and concerts, and 1 hour prior for family shows such as the circus and ice shows. For info on renting one of the 20, 40, or 80 person Luxury Rental Suites or Super Suites, call 312-455-4000. For info on a scoreboard message during a Chicago Blackhawks game call 312-455-7000, and for a Chicago Bulls game call 312-455-4000. Three Cash Stations are located in the Box Office lobby at section 106, next to Fandemonium at section 116 , and on the 300 Level at section 309. First Aid Stations are located at sections 115 and 327. Translators for a variety of languages are provided through Guest Relations.

FOOD/BEVERAGE SERVICES:

Within the arena there are:

  • 46 permanent concession stands and 7 portable stands.
  • Selection of Italian, deli, Mexican, grill and standard concession fare.
  • Wireless waiter/waitress service on Lexus Club Level and courtside floor seating for basketball and concerts.
  • 201 points of sale.

Levy Restaurants provides Executive Suite Holders with an extensive food and beverage menu. All food is prepared fresh in Levy’s kitchen at the United Center, including:

  • Antipastsi Flatbread Squares
  • Italian Bruschetta Trio
  • Chilled Shrimp Cocktail
  • Spicy Chicken Wings
  • Chicken Tenderloin Strips
  • Signature Baby Back Ribs
  • Tuscan Flatbread Sandwiches
  • Beef Tenderloin Platter
  • Southwestern Fajita Bar
  • Jumbo Chicago-Style Hot Dogs
  • Niman Ranch Smoked Pork Loin Station
  • Beef Tenderloin Station
  • Caesar Salad
  • Dessert Cart
  • Extensive Liquor, Wine and Beverage Selections

 

NEIGHBORHOOD:

The United Center is located in the United Center Park neighborhood on the city’s West Side. The whole community of restaurants, bars and retailers that has sprung up in its immediate vicinity has been steadily attracting new housing and residents to the neighborhood.

Ashland Ave., four blocks east of the arena, is home to Union Park and several buildings belonging to labor unions (see especially the union-related murals on Ashland and Carroll Avenue and another at Ashland and Monroe Street). A nearby mural at 340 S. Paulina Street celebrates the Teamsters.

The park’s name actually pre-dates the labor unions’ arrival. It was named in 1853 in honor of the Federal Union, and for a time after the end of the Civil War became a lure for wealthy merchants who built grand homes on a widened Ashland Avenue. Some of the homes are labor union headquarters today, and two extraordinary churches remain from that era: First Baptist Congregational (1869) and Church of the Epiphany (1885). In the modern era, the park has been a gathering point for activist rallies and a venue for music performers; it is home of the annual Pitchfork Music Festival, held in July.

Ogden Avenue, which cuts through the southwest corner of the neighborhood, was part of the historic Route 66 highway, a.k.a. “The Mother Road,” that originally stretched from Chicago to Los Angeles. There are markers.

A few restaurants are within the neighborhood’s boundaries. Moretti’s, a local pizza chain, has a location on Jackson Boulevard a couple of blocks southwest of the arena; not far, the Billy Goat Inn, which has roots near here but relocated years ago to its main location in the Magnificent Mile neighborhood, is back. Angel’s, a Mexican restaurant on Ashland Avenue, has a pleasant patio when the weather cooperates, and just north is Bombon Cafe for lighter Mexican fare and pastries.

On Western Avenue are a couple of sandwich options. Moon’s Sandwich Shop, a half-mile directly west of the United Center, has been here since 1933. Only a couple of years old, Felony Franks, at Western and Jackson, features the usual Chicago Italian beef and sausage sandwiches along with other fare.

More restaurants are several blocks east in the Greektown and Little Italy neighborhoods and, increasingly, in the West Loop neighborhood, whose loft apartments and restoration of classic residences is creating a bridge to what was once an isolated Near West Side.

Renovations just west of United Center parking lots, notably along Adams and Monroe Streets, are breathing life into those areas as well.

For more dining and entertainment options in the neighborhood, visit www.chicago.com/neighborhoods.

GO BLACKHAWKS AND GO BULLS!

Some information gathered from UnitedCenter.com, TicketMaster.com, and ExploreChicago.org.

Tim Baffoe / 670 The Score

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