Sky Making Break From Rosemont
Journal Staff Report
The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) approved an arena agreement bringing the WNBA franchise Chicago Sky to the city of Chicago. For the last eight years, the Sky have played at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, but will move to the new Wintrust Arena at McCormick Square in Chicago’s South Loop.
The agreement is for five years and will include all 17 home games, plus promotional events, held at the arena each year. Per the agreement, the Sky will receive money from ticket sales, sponsorship sales and sales of all Sky/WNBA merchandise. The Sky also keep exclusive rights to sell or licence the broadcasting rights of all games at Wintrust Arena.
MPEA, which owns Wintrust Arena, will receive revenue from rent, concessions, parking and ticketing fees.
The arena, set to open in September, will contain 10,387 seats. DePaul University men’s and women’s basketball home games will also be played at the arena.
While Allstate Arena is losing two teams (the Sky and DePaul men’s basketball), they welcome a new team for one season.
Northwestern men’s basketball will play home games at Allstate while Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston undergoes renovations. Allstate will still host Chicago Wolves hockey games as they have since the team started in 1994.
Other pro sports teams to play in Rosemont over the years include the Chicago Horizons (part of Major Indoor Soccer League, 1980-81), Chicago Sting (MISL, 1984-88), Chicago Bruisers (Arena Football League, 1987-89), Chicago Express (World Basketball League, 1988), Chicago Skyliners (American Basketball Association, 2000-02) and Chicago Rush (AFL, 2001-13). The arena also holds concerts, rodeos, UFC, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) pay-per-views, monster trucks and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) events.