Report: DePaul to receive $300 million arena in Chicago
There hasn't been a lot of positive press regarding the Blue Demons program of late, but Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel's reported proposal to build a new arena could mark a turning point for the DePaul program.
Plans are in the works for a $300 million, 12,000-seat arena for DePaul University to be built near downtown Chicago, according to a Sun Times report.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to make a formal announcement later this week, according to the report. The proposal would mandate a third of the cost come from taxpayers, a third from the school itself, and the final $100 million would come from a naming rights deal.
The Blue Demons, which currently play in Rosemont, Illinois -- about 15 miles west of the university’s campus -- have played at Allstate Arena since 1980. The new arena could prove more alluring to both fans and recruits, alike. The far-away arena is often cited as a reason for such little fan support at games.
Emanuel has been a huge proponent of bringing the Blue Demons’ home games back to Chicago.
“DePaul for years has been talking about a stadium in Chicago that’s better for their basketball team, better for their fans, and better to be closer to home,” the mayor said last year.
Earlier this year, the school rejected a proposal to play its home games at the United Center, the home of the Chicago Bulls and the NHL’s Blackhawks. The school said it preferred to "do their own private building."
The Blue Demons have struggled mightily in the past few seasons under coach Oliver Purnell, recording just six conference wins in the past three seasons. Last year, the Blue Demons finished just 11-21 overall.
DePaul will be part of the basketball-centric new Big East conference to begin play next season.
For more college basketball news, follow Mike Singer on Twitter @RealMikeSinger.
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