DePaul Arena in South Loop Progressing

It's been four months since the City of Chicago, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), and DePaul University announced plans to build an events center in the South Loop near McCormick Place. In this report, we bring you up to date on what progress has been made on the future home of the Blue Demons.

Land Acquisition

MPEA has filed in Cook County Circuit court the necessary Eminent Domain suits to acquire the some of the remaining land parcels need for the arena site near McCormick Place. Parcels at 230 E. Cermak and 2123 S. Indiana Ave. have been included in the lawsuits.

Architectural Design

Six architecture firms, John Ronan, Krueck & Sexton, Ross Barney, Grimshaw, OMA/AMO, and Pelli Clarke Pelli, presented their designs for the proposed events center last week to representatives from DePaul and MPEA. A decision on the winning design could come as early as this week.

Naming Rights

DePaul University owns the naming rights for the new arena. DePaul has hired Legends Sales & Marketing, to secure the naming rights for the events center. The naming rights will most likely be sold to a major coprporate sponsor. Legends Sales & Marketing is owned by the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and Checketts Partners Investment Fund.

Nearby Hotel

Last week, MPEA official said that Marriott Corp. will be awarded the 1,200 room convention hotel that will be close to the events center. The hotel, which is expected to open in 2016 along with the arena, will be operated under the Marriott Marquis brand.

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