United Center offers free rent for DePaul men’s basketball games

The United Center has reportedly offered DePaul University 10 years of free rent for all men’s basketball games, according to a report by Crain’s Chicago Business.

As part of the deal, United Center ownership would “redesign its basketball floor to allow the two ‘end zones’ to be removable. For DePaul games, they would be replaced with ‘DePaul,’ ‘Big East’ or whatever is desired.” DePaul’s Blue Demons logo would replace the Chicago Bulls logo at center court.

DePaul would also be provided a host of other perks, including access to owner and marketing suites, use of Bulls locker rooms, the installation of a Blue Demons store, and permission to hang its own championship banners from the rafters, according to Greg Hinz’s Crain’s report.

DePaul’s athletic department said in a statement they are continuing to explore proposals and no decision has been made at this time.

As The DePaulia reported last month, DePaul has been in close discussions with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority to build a new arena closer to the Lincoln Park campus, estimated to cost around $200-250 million. The proposed arena would be built in the South Loop area, located west of McCormick Place parking and a new CTA Green Line station, a site which has been proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

DePaul’s Vision 2018 plan has confirmed its desire to bring its men’s basketball team back to Chicago, closer than current home Allstate Arena in the Village of Rosemont. The Blue Demons contract with Allstate Arena runs through 2015.

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