(CBS) DePaul’s new McCormick Place basketball arena that will be built on the city’s Near North Side has been a subject of much debate for its use of public funding, but there’s at least one figure who’s expressing excitement over it right now.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey.

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In an interview with the Spiegel and Goff Show on Wednesday, Brey pitched the idea that Notre Dame should be the first foe DePaul hosts when it opens its new arena, which is set for completion in 2017. He cited the rivalry, which dates back to 1912 but has lost some luster in recent years with Notre Dame leaving for the ACC as DePaul has struggled and still competes in the Big East.

“You know, the one thing we do want to do, and I’m going to talk to the DePaul people when I get over there, is we should open up their new building,” said Brey, who will be in Chicago on Wednesday night and Thursday for The Basketball Tournament. “It should be Notre Dame-DePaul to open up that new building. Now, I don’t know when that’s going to be done, but that’s a natural that we should be the first game there.

“That’s something I want to talk to the DePaul people about.”

Brey’s wish is dependent on the construction timeline. The originally hope was the arena would be open for the latter half of the 2016-’17 season — meaning the Blue Demons could’ve hosted their conference games there that season — but earlier this year the timeline was pushed back to later 2017 after some design changes.

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If the arena is indeed open by late fall 2017, Brey wants his Irish to be the first visitor.

Of course, there’d be a benefit for him — showcasing his program in a city that’s ripe with prep basketball talent. He admitted as much.

“There’s a method to my madness,” Brey said with a laugh.

Listen to Brey’s full interview with Spiegel and Goff below.

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