What to know about Wintrust Arena as DePaul basketball begins


Darcy Waskiewicz

Fans at the Men’s Basketball exhibition game on THursday, Nov 4.

For the first time in months, fans of DePaul men’s and women’s basketball will flock to Wintrust Arena as the teams’ seasons kick off this week. As students and fans prepare to enjoy home games at Wintrust, there will be plenty of Covid-19 protocols to follow and amenities to enjoy on game day.

As the new season commences, DePaul Athletics and Wintrust are determined to make games both safe and enjoyable.

Before any protocols come into play, fans will need to grab a ticket. DePaul employees receive a 20 percent discount off full-priced tickets in lower-level and 200-level seating, and recent graduates — the last four classes — are potentially eligible for a 50 percent discount in 100-level sections. Current students may be in the lower-level student stand once admitted.

In addition, groups of 10 or more can get discounted prices by purchasing group tickets, saving $5 to $10 each, depending on the section they are in.

To get to a game, fans will either need to take the Red Line down to the Cermak-Chinatown station and walk four blocks west or take the Green Line down to Cermak-McCormick, depending on where you are starting from.

For those brave enough to drive, they can head to Wintrust’s Parking Lot A, B or C, all located close to the arena. In Lot A, spots can be reserved ahead of time at a discount on the DePaul Athletics website.

Currently enrolled students are also offered complimentary bus rides from the Lincoln Park Campus to Wintrust on gameday, and bus reservations can be made when purchasing a student ticket. Busses will arrive between an hour and 75 minutes prior to tip-off.

Once at the game, all guests aged 2 and older are required to wear a face covering, and vaccination is strongly encouraged, but not mandatory. Doors will be open two hours before tipoff to reduce crowd size and tightly packed lines.

All DePaul students and guests will enter a specified “student door” at the primary entrance on Indiana Avenue. A DePaul student ID is required for access to the student section as well.

When entering the arena, the only things that fans can carry in are Wintrust-approved clear, plastic or vinyl bags, or anything needed for medical reasons. Fortunately, fans are allowed to bring in any sign or banner 2 feet by 3 feet or smaller.

With safety still in mind, extensive cleaning procedures will be conducted in the arena prior to and during games, hand sanitation stations will be available on the concourses, and all concession stands and box offices will be cashless, thus requiring a debit or credit card for all purchases. Social distancing and masks will be encouraged and required, respectively, in all lines.

Additionally, all seating and entrances are wheelchair accessible, and guests needing to purchase accessible seating can do so ahead of time. Wintrust is also sensory inclusive, so guests or families can register ahead of time to have access to things for the sensory-sensitive like headphones or fidget items.

Once in the building, fans will find their seats out of the 10,387 at Wintrust or — if 10 to 16 people want to spring for it –—suites are available for single-game rentals at all men’s and women’s basketball games.

Some health risk must be assumed at any indoor sporting event. With that being said, the Covid-combating protocols in place and the services Wintrust provides will allow DePaul basketball fans to feel as pre-pandemic as it has been in a while.