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United Center
United Center

  Venue Resources  
Address 1901 West Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone (312) 455-4500
Official Website
Seating Weather
Newspaper
Satellite View
Bulls Gear
  Calendar / Tickets  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Chicago

  The Facility  
Opened August 18, 1994
Ownership
(Management)
Rocky Wirtz and Jerry Reinsdorf
(United Center Joint Venture)
Cost of Construction $175 million
Arena Financing Private (80% bank loans, 20% from building owners). City contributed some infrastructure costs.
Naming Rights United Airlines paid an estimated $1.8 million annually for 20-year naming rights in 1994.
Arena Architects Populous
Marmon Mok
W.E. Simpson Company
General
Contractors /
Construction Managers
Huber, Hunt & Nichols
  Other Facts  
Tenants Chicago Bulls (NBA)
1994-Present
Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
1994-Present
Population Base 10,000,000
On Site Parking 4,500
Nearest Airport O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
Retired Numbers #4 Jerry Sloan
#10 Bob Love
#23 Michael Jordan
#33 Scottie Pippen
## Phil Jackson
## Jerry Krause

Championships 1st

1991
2nd

1992
3rd

1993
4th

1996
5th

1997
6th

1998

  Seating  
Capacity 21,711
Average Ticket $52.54
(2005-2006)
$63.00
(2007-2008)
Fan Cost Index (FCI) $304.15
(2005-2006)
$335.00
(2007-2008)
The Team Marketing Report FCI includes: four average-price tickets; four small soft drinks; two small beers; four hot dogs; two game programs; parking; and two adult-size caps.
Luxury Suites 160 Suites
Party Suites 216 Suites
Club Seats 3,100
Hockey 20,500
Concerts 24,500
  Attendance History  
Season  Total  Capacity Change
1992-93 759,656 93% 0%
1993-94 759,816 85% 0%
1994-95 926,278 104% 21.9%
1995-96 969,149 109% 4.6%
1996-97 978,455 110% 1%
1997-98 983,444 110% 0.5%
1998-99 560,012 103% -43.1%
1999-00 907,064 97% 79.3%
2000-01 888,654 99.8% -2.0%

2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
776,311 804,309 809,171 828,384

2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09
868,720 908,600 901,502 847,903

2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
849,760 893,462 731,326 896,944

2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
890,370 875,091

1992-1994 - Attendance for Chicago Stadium.
1998-1999 - Attendance for 25 games due to NBA lockout.
2011-2012 - Attendance for 33 games due to NBA lockout.

Sources: Mediaventures

The United Center, which opened for the 1994-95 NBA, is across the street from the site of Chicago Stadium on the city's West Side, but until the 1995-96 season, it felt light-years away in history.

The old stadium had character, from the standing-room-only upper balcony to the hard seats, narrow aisles, and down-home charm. The scoreboard was old and outdated, and the players, emerging from the small locker rooms, had to duck to get upstairs to the floor.
United Center
But the stadium had mistique, the kind of atmosphere that comes from moments such as June 14, 1992, when Michael Jordan - standing on the press table with tears in his eyes, a cigar in his mouth, and a bottle of championship trophy high to the cheering throng. Chicago Stadium's noise was incredible, and when the lights were turned down for the introduction of the Bulls, it was simply electrifying.

The world's greatest basketball player retired in 1993, before United Center opened, vowing that he loved the old stadium too much to play across the street. The Bulls retired his number (23), erected a bronze statue of him in the lobby of their new arena, and carried on without him. But on March 18, 1995, Michael Jordan decided he missed basketball and rejoined the Bulls in their opulent new arena. Apparently the high-tech replay scoreboard and 21,711 plush, theater-style seats haven't cramped His Airness's style too much - he got the Bulls to the 1994-95 MVP en route to the Bulls' fourth NBA championship in six years.

The football-bowl shape of the arena provides good sight lines even in the farthest seats, and with the addition of "illustrated man" Dennis Rodman to their team, Chicago fans have plenty to look at - and cheer about. The triumvirate of Rodman, Jordan, and Scottie Pippen has been called the best combination in the game. In just two years the United Center has become the site of sports history and has guaranteed a place for itself in Chicago's heart.

United Center

THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell

United Center Ranking by USRT
Architecture 7
Concessions 6
Scoreboard 7
Ushers 5
Fan Support 8
Location 2
Banners/History 70
Entertainment 9
Concourses/Fan Comfort 7
Bonus: Michael Jordan Statue 2
Total Score 60
February 20, 2001
February 21, 2001
- The United Center was opened in 1994 to replace the aging Chicago Stadium. Sitting at the opposite side of Madison Avenue from where the old Stadium existed, this facility dominates the surrounding neighborhood in its sheer size and fact that there is little more than empty lots for parking in the immediate area surrounding it. This building was constructed during the midst of the Bulls heyday of the 90's when the team was the hottest ticket in town and by the looks of the size of this place they built a venue large enough to accommodate as much of the demand as possible.

The Concourses
In the lower concourse you will find Fandemonium, the main souvenir outlet for Bulls and Blackhawks merchandise. Also there is a private restaurant for season ticketholders (The Locker Room) and a public one (The Windy City Grill)... this amidst a wide selection of concessions of almost every type of food one could ever want!!!

The Club concourse features the Chicago Stadium Club, a Harbour club style buffet restaurant where the walls are adorned with all kinds of prints and memorabilia from events that occured at the Bulls and 'Hawks old stomping grounds. The rest of the club concourse has plenty of upscale food and merchandise concessions as well as lounges with plenty of room to pull up a nice comfortable chair, put your drink on a table and watch the game on one of several monitors. And even in the upper concourse you will find the wide selection of food and drink available in the building's pricier areas.

The Bowl
United Center
Not only is there seating for 21,500 fans in three main levels, there are suites above each of those three levels (total of 212). Despite three years of Bulls players that masquerade as an NBA team and a few years of mediocrity on the ice this building still sells its Bulls games out on a regular basis and draws a healthy crowd for the Blackhawks. We must admit though that the sold out building we sat in for the Bulls game only appeared to be about three quarters full. There must be plenty of Bulls season ticket holders who won't part with their tickets for fear that the glory days will return!!! (Fat chance!) Also newly added to the bowl is an LED Daktronics display board which circles the bowl between lower and club levels and between the club and upper levels. Outside of the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota this arena has the most extensive use of this technology of any venue we have seen. As famous Chicagoans Siskel and Ebert would say "two thumbs up" from us!!!

Retired Numbers/Banners
The Bulls and Blackhawks are two of the most respected and historic franchises in all of sports and the cloth that hangs here reflects that. No silly 6th man banners here as the Bulls and 'Hawks proudly display their great achievements (NBA Titles,Stanley Cups etc. etc.) and honor their greatest players such as Stan Mikita and Michael Jordan (WHO?).

Extra Points
The Bulls and Blackhawks are famous for events that occur before the game begins. The Bulls were amongst the first to begin the widely used concept of turning out the lights and blasting the music at full bore while introducing the Bulls team to the court. To use another catch phrase here, always imitated, never duplicated. And if there is one place to catch the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner, make sure it is at the United Center before the start of a Blackhawks game. Here the fans cheer loud and wildly throughout the singing of our national anthem and it is truly a unique moment to experience.

Things That Caught Our Eye
One jumbotron skit was something called a "Kiss Cam" in which the screen showed a couple together in the audience and the idea is to get them to kiss on-screen. Most couples usually do oblige, however some do need a bit of goading from the fans. The two guys wearing Redwings jerseys did not oblige.

"Sing for your Supper"- this is a contest that pits two people in different rows against each other in a karaoke contest. The winner gets dinner for his/her entire row free. BUT GET THIS, the rest of the fans in the audience that are judging have three options to choose from. They can choose either one as the winner or they can also choose neither if the two contestants do not live up to standards and everyone goes home hungry. This was the result the night we were there!!

Extra Points
The day of the Blackhawks game we happened upon a terrific establishment called Cheli's Chili Bar, on West Madison, about a mile from the United Center. This "Cheers" style pub is owned by none other than Chris Chelios himself and is run by Chris' parents and sister. We spent the entire afternoon there and the Chelios family treated us like kings. What warm and terrific people!

Summary
This is a wonderful building with amenities so plentiful that you would have a difficult time finding a venue with more things to see, do, and eat than this one. As far as game presentation is concerned, the Bulls do more of the things now typical of today's fan experience (tossing t/shirts into crowd, 3 live bands in the concourses, face painting etc.) while a Blackhawks game reminds you more of when a game was simply that, a game. Peter for one found this rather refreshing as Andrew tended more to enjoy the in game entertainment and accepted it at part of the total experience. An outstanding venue, albeit quite a bit oversized in our opinion.

May 28, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Levy Restaurants is taking over concessionaire responsibilities at Chicago's United Center. The contract was held by Bismarck Enterprises Inc., which was founded by Peter Wirtz, the younger brother of Rocky Wirtz who owns the Blackhawks. Peter Wirtz plans to continue the company, but it will be focused on consulting rather than operations.

MAJOR RETAIL DEVELOPMENT PROPOSED FOR UNITED CENTER
May 1, 2012
Copyright 2012 MediaVentures

Chicago, Ill. - Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf is leading a venture that plans to build 260,000 square feet of restaurants, bars, a team store and event space in the sprawling parking lot east of the arena, according to documents obtained by Crain's Chicago Business.

Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz would be part of the venture, which could include team offices, parking, a terrace and a green roof.

The new retail structure on the H Lot would be connected to the east side of the arena with an atrium-like entrance similar to the one at Wisconsin's Lambeau Field, home of the NFL's Green Bay Packers.

Chicago Bulls

International Amphitheater
International Amphitheater

1966-1967
Chicago Stadium
Chicago Stadium

1967-1994
United Center
United Center

1994-Present

Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Coliseum
Chicago Coliseum

1926-1929
Chicago Stadium
Chicago Stadium

1929-1994
United Center
United Center

1994-Present


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