Tuesday, April 4, 2017

DePaul Arena - Will it Thrive or Falter?

The sun-times ponders whether or not the new DePaul Arena is going to thrive or struggle:
Coupled with 17 home games for DePaul men’s basketball and “six-to-eight” games for the Blue Demons’ women’s team, Kennedy said he’s more than half-way home toward the goal of booking the arena for 50 events during the first twelve months.
“It’s a beautiful new venue. It’s a beautiful new campus. Two additional hotels under construction. The Marriott Marquis will be open late summer. New restaurants just popped open down the street. Motor Row is invigorating these days. We’re excited. I have full confidence of being able to get to 50 events,” he said.

The other perspective plays out like this:
Even if the 50-booking benchmark is reached, Chicago-based sports business consultant Marc Ganis predicted that most of the events would be “economically meaningless, both to the facility and to Chicago taxpayers.”
I fully expect they will do whatever they can in the first few years to try and gin up a positive spin because this was such a foolhardy project in the first place,” said Ganis, who has opposed the project from the get-go. 
“It was a ridiculous use of limited public money at a time when we’re raising taxes to unprecedented levels and still see no light at the end of the tunnel. Every now and then, governments decide to build vanity projects. That’s what this is.”

As most debates the reality is probably somewhere in the middle.  Regardless of how you feel, the new stadium is opening in October.  Hopefully it proves to be successful.

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