Report: Chicago plans DePaul arena
DePaul's quest to build a basketball arena closer to its North Side Chicago home may be nearing an end.
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to announce a plan that could give the Blue Demons -- who have played at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., since 1980 -- a new 12,000-seat arena in the city, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.
The proposal could cost $300 million and would include hotels and a possible casino, according to the report. It would require DePaul investment and "private sponsorship" but also possibly taxpayer money from a preexisting development fund. It could also include other taxpayer funds, according to the Sun-Times.
On March 19, Chicago Blackhawks and United Center co-owner Rocky Wirtz revealed DePaul had turned down a 10-year, rent-free offer to play at the west side building, citing the school's desire to "do their own private building," Wirtz said. At the time, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said in a statement that "direct state support for a private stadium is not something the state can afford," citing Illinois's pension liability and budget woes.
A state spokeswoman told the Sun-Times on Monday "direct state support" for a private arena "was not something the state could afford right now."
The city office could not be reached for comment Monday night.