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DePaul Working on New Arena Naming Rights

DePaul Arena Exterior

As DePaul University gets closer to the opening of its new arena, the university says that it wants to have a naming rights agreement in place sooner rather than later.

Currently billed as the McCormick Place Events Center, the new arena amounts to a fairly ambitious project on the part of the university. During a preview earlier this year, we took a look at how the roughly $200 million venue will fit into its surroundings, with its neighbors including a planned Marriott Marquis hotel and the existing McCormick Place convention center. Starting next fall the arena will host both men’s and women’s basketball for DePaul, plus other major university events such as the annual commencement ceremony.

Given its prime location in Chicago, the naming rights for the venue could attract some interest, especially since DePaul is hoping that the arena will spark development in the surrounding area. DePaul is working with Legends to have an agreement in place, and has a clear preference on the timeframe for securing the deal. More from the DePaulia:

“We have several prospects in the pipeline for naming rights and we’ve met with a number of them and we have several more still to meet with,” DePaul athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto said. “Ideally I think we’d like to have the process completed this fall and be in a position to make an announcement sometime this fall but that really will depend on how quickly we can get through the process.”

In May, Ryan Smith, the general manager of global sales for Legends, the marketing firm handling the arena’s naming rights and sponsorship deals, said that they hoped to have an announcement within 12 months.

Lenti Ponsetto said the biggest priority is to search for a company close to the city.

“One of the main focuses for us is for it to be a Chicago name, an iconic Chicago name,” she said. “Someone who lives here and appreciates the architecture of Chicago.”

Though it is the tenant of the new arena–which is owned by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority–DePaul will be the primary beneficiary of the naming rights agreement. The university’s lease at the arena will run for 50 years.

Renderings courtesy of DePaul athletics. 

RELATED STORIES: Preview: McCormick Place Events Center

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