United Center Marks 25 Years

Rob Hart
October 21, 2019 - 8:26 pm

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The United Center is 25 years old.

The stadium has seen countless concerts, the 1996 Democratic National Convention, three NBA titles from the Chicago Bulls and three Blackhawks Stanley Cup championships.

The building has also been at the heart of a real estate renaissance on the West Side.

Perhaps most remarkably, the United Center is one of the rare modern sports facilities to be financed through private money.

Crains Chicago Business reporter Danny Ecker recently interviewed Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz about the past, present, and future of the venue.

Ecker tells the WBBM Noon Business Hour that the decision to use private financing gives the Bulls and Blackhawks the freedom to do what they need to keep the building relevant.

"They have been able to put a lot money into it and certainly seen some of the returns from making this a privately owned and privately developed facility. They don't have to deal with public coffers," Ecker said.

He said Reinsdorf and Wirtz would like to see the United Center become a year-round destination.

"They want to make it more of a destination so that people will actually want to come, show up earlier and stay later,” Ecker said.