DePaul men’s basketball is approaching a notable date in its history, as the program will play its first game at Wintrust Arena this weekend.
The 2017-18 NCAA basketball season is DePaul’s first at Wintrust Arena, a new arena located near McCormick Place in Chicago. In comparison to Rosemont’s Allstate Arena—the former home of DePaul men’s basketball—Wintrust Arena has a few distinctions. In addition to being located much closer to DePaul University’s Lincoln Park campus than its predecessor, Wintrust Arena will also offer the capability to host other functions for the university and serve as an event center for McCormick Place.
Wintrust Arena received a considerable amount of attention during its construction process, and DePaul officials reported strong interest among fans in the months leading up to its opening. The hype during construction period has carried over to its early days is use, as officials hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 10,367-seat venue last month and a Bob Dylan concert on October 27 marked its first major event.
The concert is one example of the type of event that Wintrust Arena is expected to host, and local officials are hoping that the venue will help bring economic activity to the area. One of the most anticipated dates on its calendar is November 11, when DePaul men’s basketball takes on Norte Dame in Wintrust Arena’s first regular-season game.
That game will be a major event for the arena, but it is not the only date to watch in the coming weeks, as the women’s program will make its regular-season debut on December 8. The venue will even enter the professional realm next summer, when it begins hosting the WNBA’s Chicago Sky, who—like DePaul men’s basketball—relocated from Allstate Arena.
For DePaul, moving into a new venue that has been an event anticipated as marking a new era for the university. Now after all of the discussion and hype surrounding the venue, it can prepare to host its first regular-season game.
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