Fuzzy Attendance Numbers Cloud DePaul Arena Project

Today’s column from CBS Chicago

(CBS) When it comes to numbers, I don’t trust the city of Chicago.

And the more numbers that come out regarding DePaul University’s proposed $173 million basketball arena near McCormick Place, the less I find myself trusting them.

Earlier this month, I questioned just how much the city and school could realistically expect to secure for corporate naming rights, as well as concerns about just who will cover overruns for a facility that will use millions of dollars in tax money to help build a venue that’s intended to primarily benefit a private school.

The project’s numbers seemed iffy.

And now its math looks downright fuzzy.

On Wednesday, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that DePaul’s men’s basketball team would have to more than triple its annual attendance to meet the estimates made by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (McPier) for the new event center.

“Attendance at Blue Demons home games in suburban Rosemont has averaged around 2,900 over the past three years, according to Allstate Arena ticket records obtained by Crain’s,” wrote columnist Danny Ecker. “That’s about 35 percent of the school’s reported numbers and 30 percent of what McPier officials are projecting for the new arena.”

Continue reading at CBSChicago.com

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