In the last week, the Chicago Bulls announced that they plan on constructing a new practice arena adjacent to their home arena The United Center. This comes as no surprise as most players and coaches agreed that the old arena, called the Berto Center, was too cramped and didn’t allow the team ample room to practice. But that was not the only complaint; an even bigger concern was the location.
The Berto Center was located in Deerfield, which caused many players to suffer a long commute in order just to practice. The new practice arena, will be located in parking lot J, which is east of the United Center across South Wood Street.
The new arena will be about 55,000 square feet and will employ both 360 Architects and McHugh Construction to complete the job. The arena is predicted to be finished during the 2014-2015 season and is estimated to cost around $17 million.
So what will this new practice arena offer the team? The answer isn’t based just around the team; it’s based on its entire surroundings. The practice arena will allow the players to practice next door to their home stadium, while allowing the city of Chicago to take pride that their players aren’t in Deerfield running drills.
It holds the possibility of stimulating the Near West Side’s economy and job growth rate, and it will provide an aesthetically pleasing visual to passers-by as opposed to looking at empty parking lots.
While a practice arena doesn’t hold a huge venue for stores, restaurants, or other entertainment outlets, it allows a part of the city that has suffered from hard economic times to look upon something that will most certainly help in all categories. While it will not solve any problems by itself, it will do absolutely no harm and that is a step in the right direction.