United Center

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United Center
"The UC"
"The Madhouse on Madison"
"The House that Michael Jordan built"
United Center 2011 Logo.png
United Center 060716.jpg
The United Center in 2006
Location1901 West Madison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60612
Coordinates41°52′50″N 87°40′27″W / 41.88056°N 87.67417°W / 41.88056; -87.67417Coordinates: 41°52′50″N 87°40′27″W / 41.88056°N 87.67417°W / 41.88056; -87.67417
Broke groundApril 6, 1992[1]
Built1992–1994
OpenedAugust 18, 1994
Renovated2009–2010 (300 Level)
OwnerUnited Center Joint Venture
(Rocky Wirtz and Jerry Reinsdorf)
OperatorUnited Center Joint Venture
Construction cost$175 million
($274 million in 2013 dollars[2])
ArchitectHOK Sport (now Populous)
W.E. Simpson Company
Project managerInternational Facilities Group, LLC.[3]
Structural engineerThornton Tomasetti
Services engineerFlack + Kurtz[4]
General contractorMorse Diesel/Huber Hunt & Nichols[5]
CapacityConcerts: 23,500
Basketball: 20,917 (2009–present) with standing room at least 23,129[6]
21,711 (1994–2009)
Hockey: 19,717 (2009–present)
with standing room at least 22,428[7]
20,500 (1994–2009)
Tenants
Chicago Bulls (NBA) (1994–present)
Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) (1995–present)
 
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United Center
"The UC"
"The Madhouse on Madison"
"The House that Michael Jordan built"
United Center 2011 Logo.png
United Center 060716.jpg
The United Center in 2006
Location1901 West Madison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60612
Coordinates41°52′50″N 87°40′27″W / 41.88056°N 87.67417°W / 41.88056; -87.67417Coordinates: 41°52′50″N 87°40′27″W / 41.88056°N 87.67417°W / 41.88056; -87.67417
Broke groundApril 6, 1992[1]
Built1992–1994
OpenedAugust 18, 1994
Renovated2009–2010 (300 Level)
OwnerUnited Center Joint Venture
(Rocky Wirtz and Jerry Reinsdorf)
OperatorUnited Center Joint Venture
Construction cost$175 million
($274 million in 2013 dollars[2])
ArchitectHOK Sport (now Populous)
W.E. Simpson Company
Project managerInternational Facilities Group, LLC.[3]
Structural engineerThornton Tomasetti
Services engineerFlack + Kurtz[4]
General contractorMorse Diesel/Huber Hunt & Nichols[5]
CapacityConcerts: 23,500
Basketball: 20,917 (2009–present) with standing room at least 23,129[6]
21,711 (1994–2009)
Hockey: 19,717 (2009–present)
with standing room at least 22,428[7]
20,500 (1994–2009)
Tenants
Chicago Bulls (NBA) (1994–present)
Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) (1995–present)
The United Center during a Bulls basketball game

The United Center is an indoor sports arena located in Chicago, Illinois. The United Center is home to both the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League. The arena is named after its corporate sponsor, United Airlines.

The plan to build the arena was created by Bill Wirtz and Jerry Reinsdorf, the owners of the two sports teams. The United Center's predecessor was the indoor Chicago Stadium, the original "Madhouse on Madison", which was demolished after the newer arena opened for business on August 18, 1994. Due to the 1994 NHL lockout, the Blackhawks did not move in until January 1995.

The east side of the stadium features statues of Michael Jordan (known as "The Spirit"), Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, while a statue of various Blackhawks sits to the north on Madison Street, where the Chicago Stadium was located.

Contents

Arena information

The United Center, which is currently owned by United Center Joint Venture (a partnership between Rocky Wirtz and Reinsdorf), covers 960,000 square feet (89,187 m²) and is located on a 46-acre (19 ha) parcel, west of the Chicago Loop.[8] The arena is the largest in the United States in physical size, though not in capacity. Its exterior bears a striking resemblance to that of Chicago Stadium. It seats 19,717 (not including standing room) for hockey (highest attendance at a Blackhawks game in 2012 was 22,077 vs. St. Louis), 20,917 (not including standing room) for basketball (highest attendance at a Bulls game in 2012 was 23,028 vs. Miami) and up to 23,500 for concerts. The United Center hosts over 200 events per year and has drawn over 20 million visitors since its opening. It is known for routinely exceeding seating capacity for Bulls and Blackhawks games.

United Center's acoustics were designed to amplify the noise level in order to recreate "The Roar" – the din of noise that made Chicago Stadium famous, especially during hockey games.[9] During hockey season, an Allen Organ that is a replica of the old arena's famous Barton organ is used; recreating the old organ's notes took two years.[10]

As of the 2009-10 renovation, the stadium has 169 executive suites on three levels.[11]

Notable events

Sporting events

In addition to more than 80 Bulls and Blackhawks games each year, the United Center has hosted other sporting events such as University of Illinois basketball, the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament (from the first tournament in 1998 to 2001, then in odd-numbered years from 2003 to 2007 and again in 2013,[12][13] the Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament (hosted four times, including 2011), the Roundball Classic, and the Great Eight Classic.

The arena was the Bulls' home during their second run of three consecutive championships, hosting the 1996, 1997, and 1998 NBA Finals. The Bulls won the 1996 and 1997 series in the sixth game at home, but won the 1998 series at the Delta Center, now known as EnergySolutions Arena, in Salt Lake City.

The United Center was also the site of the World Wrestling Federation pay-per-view SummerSlam in 1994 – the first major event held inside the building.[14] It also hosted the last of World Championship Wrestling's annual Spring Stampede pay-per-views in 2000.

The Stanley Cup Finals were played in the arena for the first time in 2010. However, the Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup since 1961 at Wachovia Center, now Wells Fargo Center, in Philadelphia.

United Center's former logo until September 2011.
The United Center's configuration for Blackhawks hockey games.

On the weekend of March 5–6, 2011, the Professional Bull Riders made their Built Ford Tough Series debut at the United Center.[15] It was their third Chicago-area visit, having previously visited Rosemont's Allstate Arena in 2006 and 2008. The event at the United Center presented a unique scenario in that instead of dirt, white crushed stone was used to cover the arena floor.

The Blackhawks announced that hockey legends Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita would receive bronze statues in their honor outside of the United Center during the 2011–12 NHL season.[16]

The Illinois State High School Hockey Championships are hosted at the United Center yearly for the Blackhawk Cup.[17]

On January 28, 2012, the Ultimate Fighting Championship held its first nationally televised event at the arena: UFC on Fox. UFC on Fox 2 was the UFC's 2nd live prime-time event on Fox. The headlining fight was former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis, with Evans winning by unanimous decision.[18]

Concerts

The Dave Matthews Band released Live in Chicago 12.19.98 as a live album and a bootleg video of the webcast of the performance is widely in circulation among DMB fans.

U2 filmed two concerts during the American leg of their Vertigo Tour for the concert film Vertigo 2005: Live from Chicago.

On August 18, 2007, Beyoncé performed a concert as part of her The Beyoncé Experience Tour. She returned July 17, 2009 for her I Am... Tour. Both shows were sold out. She will return on July 17, 2013 for her The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.

On February 15, 2008, British girl group the Spice Girls performed a sold out show at the arena as part of their reunion Return of the Spice Girls Tour.[19]

On January 26, 2011, Linkin Park preformed a show as part of the A Thousand Suns World Tour. Prior to the show, the band held their third LPU Summit for national members of their fan club. Fans were treated to a variety of different activities including viewing the band's soundcheck, a Q&A with the band members, backstage tours and bidding on exclusive Linkin Park merchandise and memorabilia.[20]

On February 28, 2011, Lady Gaga performed a sold-out show as part of her Monster Ball Tour.[21] She was supposed to return on February 13and February 14, 2013 for her The Born This Way Ball Tour, however was forced to reschedule dates after suffering a leg injury which involved her joints.

On June 17 and 18, 2011, boy bands New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys also known as NKOTBSB performed for two sold out concerts.[22]

Britney Spears returned July 8, 2011, where she performed a sold-out concert as a part of her Femme Fatale Tour. It was her first concert at the arena since June 20, 2002 when she performed a concert as part of her Dream Within a Dream Tour.[23]

British band Coldplay performed two concerts in the United Center during the North American leg of their Mylo Xyloto Tour to a total crowd of 33,995.[24]

On September 19–20, 2012, Madonna performed two sold-out concerts in front of 28,143 people as part of her MDNA Tour.[25]

On February 20, 2013, Swedish House Mafia performed apart of their One Last Tour. This was their first and last time in Chicago as Swedish House Mafia. The concert sold out within ten minutes after tickets went on sale.

On March 9, 2013, P!nk will perform at the arena as part of her The Truth About Love Tour. This marks P!nk's first performance at the arena as she has performed at the Allstate Arena and the Rosemont Theater for her previous tours in the Illinois area.

On July 9, 2013 Justin Bieber will perform at the arena as part of his Believe Tour.

Family events

The United Center has also provided a Chicago home for Cirque du Soleil, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice. During the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Disney on Ice, which occur once per year, the Bulls and Blackhawks have a tradition of taking a two-week road trip.[26]

Television events

On May 17, 2011, Oprah The Farewell Season: Oprah's Surprise Spectacular was taped at the United Center. The program aired on television on May 23 and 24, 2011. Pictures from the event are displayed inside the arena entrance on the wall of Gate 4.[27]

Political events

The United Center was also the venue of the 1996 Democratic National Convention, where the Democratic Party nominated as its presidential and vice-presidential candidates Bill Clinton and Al Gore, the incumbent holders of the respective offices, who would be re-elected as a result of the general election held that November.

300 Level renovations

One of the two "Madhouse" signs of the UC.

New for the 2009-10 season, the United Center’s 300 Level features a renovated concourse with 144 flat screen televisions powered by LG, new food and beverage stations above select seating sections and two new bars that open up to panoramic views of the arena. During the 2010 off-season, two additional bars with panoramic views of the arena were added along with the other two.[28]

The United Center includes:

Banners

The following banners hang from the rafters of the United Center honoring past and present Bulls and Blackhawks.

Chicago Bulls Retired Numbers

Championship Banners

Chicago Blackhawks Retired Numbers

Championships

Sponsorship

United Airlines pays about $1.8 million per year until 2014 for its naming rights.[29] United merged with Continental Airlines in October 2010, retaining the latter's logo and corporate look. The stadium continued to use United's previous logo for the duration of the 2010-11 season. For the 2011-12 season, all the previous United signs were updated with the new logo. Two new lit signs on the east and west ends of the arena saying "United Center" with the new United logo in the middle were revealed below the upper level suites complimenting the "Madhouse" signs on the north and south sides.

See also

Gates 2 and 4 on the North side of the United Center.

References

  1. ^ Sullivan, Paul; Reardon, Patrick (April 7, 1992). "Dignitaries Dig in at New Stadium Fete". Chicago Tribune. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=HxsaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=fyQEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3514,1559573&dq=en. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  2. ^ Staff. Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2012. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 22, 2012.
  3. ^ International Facilities Group - United Center
  4. ^ Weiss, Lois (January 4, 1995). "Engineers Mark 25th Anniversary". Real Estate Weekly. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3601/is_n23_v41/ai_16400039/. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
  5. ^ United Center - Emporis.com
  6. ^ "Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls". Chicago Tribune. March 19, 2010. http://sports.chicagotribune.com/merge/tsnform.aspx?c=chicagosports&page=nba/scores/final/boxscore.aspx?GAMEID=12668. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  7. ^ Associated Press (April 11, 2010). "Red Wings 3, Blackhawks 2, OT". Chicago Blackhawks. http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/recap.htm?id=2009021225. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  8. ^ "A Closer Look Inside The United Center". Chicago Tribune. September 7, 1994. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1994-09-07/sports/9409150331_1_level-restrooms-concourse. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  9. ^ Markus, Robert (September 17, 1994). "Hawks Quiet In Opener". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1994-09-17/sports/9409170143_1_hawks-roar-exhibition-opener. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  10. ^ Smith, Marcia C. (September 7, 1994). "Like Stadium, New Organ Will Be More Versatile". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1994-09-07/sports/9409070059_1_organ-sound-pipe. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  11. ^ "Premium Seating and Suites at the United Center". Chicago Bulls. http://www.nba.com/bulls/tickets/premium.html. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  12. ^ "2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament". Big Ten Conference. http://www.bigten.org/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/big10-m-baskbl-tournament-12.html. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  13. ^ "Big Ten Tournament History". Big Ten Conference. http://www.bigten.org/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/122304aad.html. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  14. ^ "Chicago Bulls Media Guide: United Center Information" (PDF). Chicago Bulls. http://www.nba.com/media/bulls/11_media_0405.pdf#page=9. Retrieved August 19, 2007.
  15. ^ "PBR Announces 2011 BFTS Schedule". Professional Bull Riders. September 21, 2010. Archived from the original on September 28, 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100928023610/http://www.pbrnow.com/release/?id=6771. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
  16. ^ Kuc, Chris (October 22, 2011). "Moving Moment for Hull and Mikita". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-10-22/sports/ct-spt-1023-hull-mikita-blackhawks-statues-chicago-20111023_1_hull-and-mikita-statue-omri-amrany. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  17. ^ "2010 Blackhawk Cup To Be Decided At The United Center On Friday Night". Chicago Blackhawks. March 23, 2010. http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=522414. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  18. ^ Erickson, Matt (January 28, 2012). "Evans Wins Big 1". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-28/sports/ct-spt-0129-mma-ufc-chicago--20120129_1_rashad-evans-anderson-silva-ufc. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  19. ^ Stewart, Allison (February 15, 2008). "What We Want: Spice Girls by the Numbers". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-02-15/entertainment/0802130574_1_spice-girls-posh-spice-number. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  20. ^ "LPU Summit in Chicago Program". Linkin Park Times. December 19, 2010. http://lptimes.com/2010/12/19/lpu-summit-in-chicago-program/. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  21. ^ Kot, Greg (March 1, 2011). "Turn It Up". Chicago Tribune. http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/turn_it_up/2011/02/concert-review-lady-gaga-at-the-united-center.html. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  22. ^ Legaspi, Althea (June 19, 2011). "For New Kids and Backstreet Boys, Hits, Fun and a Big Serving of Cheesiness". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-06-19/entertainment/ct-ent-0620-new-kids-backstreet-boys-20110619_1_nkotbsb-bell-biv-devoe-s-poison-cheesiness. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  23. ^ Legaspi, Althea (July 11, 2011). "Britney Spears and Her Dazzling distractions". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-11/entertainment/ct-ent-0711-britney-spears-review-20110711_1_nicki-minaj-spears-show-roman-s-revenge. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  24. ^ Kot, Greg (August 8, 2012). "Concert review: Coldplay at United Center". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-08/entertainment/chi-coldplay-concert-reviewed-coldplay-at-united-center-reviewed-20120807_1_mylo-xyloto-guitarist-jonny-buckland-guy-berryman. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  25. ^ Kot, Greg (September 20, 2012). "Madonna Full of Fresh Pop at United Center". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-20/entertainment/chi-madonna-concert-review-madonna-at-united-center-reviewed-20120920_1_mdna-madonna-pop-art. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  26. ^ Kuc, Chris (January 28, 2013). "Practices Few and Far Between for Blackhawks". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-28/sports/ct-spt-0129-bits-blackhawks-chicago--20130129_1_ice-show-nhl-lockout-goaltender-corey-crawford. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  27. ^ Rosenthal, Phil (May 18, 2011). "Oprah Winfrey Spectacle sSands Out in a Sea of Farewells". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-05-18/business/ct-biz-0518-phil-20110518_1_oprah-winfrey-network-25th-and-final-season-love-letter. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  28. ^ Vettel, Phil (November 19, 2009). "The United Center's New Concessions Offerings Are Playoff Caliber". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-11-19/entertainment/0911170224_1_levy-restaurants-crab-cakes-concessions. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  29. ^ "Stadium Naming Rights". ESPN. January 14, 2008. http://www.espn.go.com/sportsbusiness/s/stadiumnames.html.

External links