In July we announced that Northwestern would be renovating Welsh-Ryan Arena following the 2016-17 season as part of a $110 million dollar renovation plan that would dramatically improve the facilities heading into the 2018 season. That meant Northwestern wouldn’t be able to play at their home arena during the 2017-18 season, with no replacement location announced this summer.
The university announced earlier today where the Wildcats would be hosting their home games next season, with the team set to play in Rosement at Allstate Arena for the 2017-18 season.
“We are excited to partner with Allstate Arena to host Northwestern men’s basketball games during the 2017-18 season while Welsh-Ryan Arena is undergoing its renovation,” said Jim Phillips, Northwestern’s Vice President for Athletics and Recreation.
If you’re not familiar with the arena, it’s currently the home of DePaul’s men basketball team, as well as the home for the Chicago Sky (WNBA) and Chicago Wolves (AHL), as well as previously the home of the Chicago Rush until 2013 (Arena Football). This means that this upcoming season the Wildcats will be sharing an arena with DePaul’s basketball team, another Division I program from the Chicago area.
It’ll be interesting to see how Northwestern takes to their temporary location next year, with Allstate Arena having a capacity that is about double the size of their current arena. Their temporary home is only about 16 miles from their current arena, but playing in a building that seats more than 17,000 when the Wildcats averaged just under 7,000 fans per game this past season could make for a somewhat lackluster home environment.
Either way, Northwestern is finally improving their basketball facilities and we now know where they’ll temporarily call home for 2017-18.