Wintrust Arena is located on the near south side of Chicago. It’s home to DePaul University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and a multipurpose event space that hosts concerts and convention-related events for McCormick Place, the country’s largest convention center. The arena is part of a redevelopment plan to transform the surrounding neighborhood into a vibrant entertainment district with new dining and entertainment venues, hotels and streetscapes.
The event center’s main design feature is an inventive roof that swells upward over the arena seating. Within the arena, the roof’s structure is exposed, making the steel trusses that hold it aloft an expressive part
of the design.
The team of designers endeavored to create an arena that contributes positively to the streets that surround it, sharing the activity inside and investing the design with features that are active all the time, not just during events. An opening in the arena seating offers passersby a glimpse of the
world-class scoreboard, as well as of the events inside.
The two levels of suites and individually articulated seating sections create an
intimate venue. The student section, or Blue Demon Deck, cantilevers dramatically from the top of the arena and places the students directly over the action. Open concourses keep the spectators connected to the event as they circulate throughout the building. Support spaces — such as athletic
facilities, backstage areas, loading docks and mechanical spaces — are all strategically placed and contribute greatly to the surrounding neighborhood.