DePaul eyeing arena relocation

DePaul could be in the beginning stages of relocating its men's basketball team to an arena closer to the school's Lincoln Park campus in Chicago.

According to a draft of the school's 2018 strategic plan, DePaul would like to "to seek opportunities to bring men's basketball back into the city." The plan is expected to be voted on at the next board of trustees' meeting.

The Blue Demons have played at the Allstate Arena, previously called the Rosemont Horizon, in Rosemont, Ill., since 1980. They hold a 311-141 record at the arena. Still, the venue's location -- about 15 miles away from DePaul's Lincoln Park campus -- hasn't created much of a homecourt advantage.

"Students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans of DePaul men's basketball have often expressed the desire for the team to play home games closer to the Lincoln Park campus. A proposal to explore opportunities that address this desire is among many ideas on a wide range of issues that are part of the current draft of the university's next long-range strategic plan. At this time, no specific plan for this idea has been developed and reports that a location has been chosen is speculation. The strategic plan is pending trustee approval.

"The university has a great relationship with Allstate Arena, where the men's program has played the past 32 seasons and we most recently hosted the women's NCAA 1st and 2nd rounds this season."

A basketball arena in Chicago could be more attractive to local recruits and improve student attendance. DePaul averaged 9,413 fans at home Big East games this season.

The DePaul men's basketball team is undergoing a rebuilding process under second-year coach Oliver Purnell. The Blue Demons were 12-19 and 3-15 in the Big East this past season. They return three starters and eight of their top-10 players next season.