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Thursday, February 29

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College Teams Wed May 15 2013

Does DePaul Benefit from Reported Lakefront Arena?

php1IXwyNPM.jpgThough there are many criticisms to level at DePaul's basketball program, no one could accuse them of dreaming small. Whether it's their recruiting or their conference affiliation, DePaul behaves like an elite basketball program.

If reports of a $300 million 12,000-seat lakefront basketball arena at McCormick Place are accurate, DePaul - and the mayor's office - have got some wild ideas about the program's place in Chicago.

Setting aside the myriad issues with the planned arena's funding, it's worth asking if another cavernous off-campus arena in an inaccessible part of the city is the best thing for DePaul basketball. Does the proposed arena solve the main issue with Rosemont? That is, an arena far from campus that students don't have any incentive to visit.

On top of that, what was so wrong with the sweetheart deal offered by the United Center? "Play in an NBA arena!" is not a bad pitch to Chicago-area talent that at present have no interest in playing at DePaul.

It's obvious that the basketball program at DePaul could use some attention - though they should think more about a valuable fan experience than headlines. On a frigid Tuesday night in January, who is going to hop into their car and fight through traffic to watch a Catholic 7 showdown between Seton Hall and DePaul? Seats likely won't be hard to come by.

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