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5 Reasons Why DePaul Basketball Needs to Return Home to Chicago

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5 Reasons Why DePaul Basketball Needs to Return Home to Chicago

Oliver Purnell
Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement on Monday, taking a stand on DePaul's push for a return to the city. With the mayor's support and a desire to become relevant in the Big East again, there should be no reason why the Blue Demons would not want to return home.

DePaul currently plays their home games at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. The 15-mile drive takes the Blue Demons away from their Lincoln Park campus, making it harder for students and fans alike to attend their games, indirectly limiting their home court advantage. The competitive Big East has continuously got the best of the Blue Demons in recent years, while their impact on the recruiting trail has severely limited their attempt to improve.

DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell continues to make his case for the university to some of the rising high school prospects, hoping to one day make the Blue Demons a force, not only for local recruits, but also high school players nationwide.

As the school gets closer to a decision that could land the Blue Demons back in Chicago as early as 2018, will the university make the right decision and bring the men's basketball program back home?

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Easier Transportation

Cleveland Melvin
Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

From DePaul's Lincoln Park campus, the team travels 15 miles for each home game. Allstate Arena, home to the Blue Demons, is located in Rosemont, Illinois, but the travel plans undoubtedly limits the team's home court advantage. While many of college basketball's power programs, including nearly all of the Big East, have on-campus arenas or home courts that are located relatively close, the impact of DePaul's travel can have its negative effect. An on-campus arena or home court advantage in the city of Chicago would certainly limit the team's transportation and make things much easier moving forward.

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Easier for Fans and DePaul Students

DePaul Students
Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE

One of the more notable aspects of college sports, specifically college basketball, is that of its fans and students and the advantage that playing at home can put on opponents. All college basketball fans know the importance or impact that a home game can have, so why wouldn't DePaul want to cash in on this opportunity like so many of their rival competitors? A location closer to their campus can give the Blue Demons that true home court advantage, one that could boost the program and provide a better atmosphere for the men's basketball program in the years to come.

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Big East Comparison

Oliver Purnell
Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Put in to comparison the advantage that many Big East programs have by playing at home. The Carrier Dome at Syracuse is among one of the nation's tougher places to play, and that's not the only example in the conference. Some of the more notable teams within the Big East continuously capitalize on their home court or on-campus feel that only college sports can provide. DePaul can give their program the opportunity to compete and compare to other conference rivals in terms of their facility and future venue.

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Mayor's Word and City Impact

Chicago
Credit: chicagodetours.com

When your city's mayor takes a stand and defends your school's push to bring the basketball program back home, you should feel obligated to take up the opportunity. The city atmosphere can provide a great chance for DePaul to become Chicago's team and bring college basketball back to the Windy City. The impact that this can have on the program moving forward and the recruits, not only within the city and state limits, but also on a national stage, could pay huge dividends for the Blue Demons down the line.

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Recruiting

Brandon Young
Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

The recruiting aspect of moving the men's basketball team closer to home may be the most important factor of their entire decision. Grassroots and high school basketball in the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois has always been amongst the nation's elite. For example, DePaul is among the 11 remaining finalists for the nation's top prospect from the class of 2013. Jabari Parker hails from Chicago and is only one current example of the city's continued production of talent. A move back to Chicago can put DePaul on a higher scale locally and potentially impact the program's ability to land some of the area's top talent.