By Mark Maxwell
To say the Blue Demons basketball program has struggled would be a gross understatement. Over the last three seasons, DePaul's basketball team has produced a combined record of 30-64. In Big East conference play, their record has been an embarrassing 6-48.
Currently, the Blue Demons play their home games at the Allstate Arena, approximately 15 miles away from the campus. DePaul officials declined the offer to rent out the United Center for home games and instead chose to accept $100 million of public money to fund a new building program for a stunning, glass-encased arena to be built adjacent to the McCormick Place. The new arena will only be nine miles away from the DePaul campus.
In the same year that Chicago closed 50 public schools, many people have criticized the idea, largely objecting to the public money being spent on the project. DePaul will be paying the remaining $73 million to complete the arena.
On the positive side, the visually stunning arena will undoubtedly be a draw for new recruits. In recent years, Chicago has had several high school basketball players leave home to play at other schools. Derrick Rose, Evan Turner, Anthony Davis, Jabari Parker and Dwayne Wade all played their high school ball right here in Chicago. Wade left and played for Marquette, another Big East school. The new arena cannot guarantee top talent for the Blue Demons, but it certainly will increase their chances of attracting local talent.