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Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined the Chicago Bulls, Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr., Advocate Health Care, Athletico Physical Therapy and Gatorade to open the Advocate Center, the new training facility for the Chicago Bulls today. The Bulls have used the Sheri L. Berto Center in Deerfield, IL as the team’s practice center since 1992. With today’s announcement, the Bulls have consolidated front office staff and basketball operations within the City of Chicago. The Advocate Center is part of more than $400 million in public and private investment in the City’s Near West Side.
“Chicago is a great place to live, work and play, and since the Bulls already play here, I am thrilled that the team can now do their daily work at the Advocate Center and in close proximity to the United Center,” Mayor Emanuel said. “This investment by the Chicago Bulls, like many others across the city, is helping to drive the revitalization of a great neighborhood.”
“Today is a historic day for our team and the City of Chicago, not only for officially opening this world-class facility, but because we are bringing our Chicago Bulls downtown,” said Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “I want to thank Mayor Emanuel and the local community leaders for their continuous support throughout the process. I also want to thank Advocate Health Care, an incredible partner of the Chicago Bulls. It has been amazing to watch the Advocate Center come to life over the past year. We know this facility will play a key role in achieving our team’s number one goal – winning championships – while also having an impact on the redevelopment efforts for the Near West Side neighborhood.”
In June 2012, the Bulls announced their decision to return to Chicago and relocate the training facility closer to the United Center to improve player convenience, while fostering collaboration between the team’s basketball operations and front office staff. The team broke ground on the site, located on South Wood Avenue between Monroe and Madison Streets across from the United Center, and in June 2014, announced that an expanded multi-year agreement with Advocate Healthcare would result in naming the facility the “Advocate Center.”
The approximately 60,000 square foot facility will provide Bulls players with nutrition and therapy areas and state-of-the-art equipment and energy-efficient technologies. A specialized sound system has been integrated throughout the facility, and new fiber optic line allows for information to be seamlessly and instantly shared between the United Center and Advocate Center.
The main level of the Advocate Center houses two full-size basketball courts, expanded locker rooms with therapeutic hydro-pools, a video room, coaches’ offices, updated weight room and a designated media room. The first floor is also equipped with a Gatorade Sports Fuel Bar to assist in player training, hydration and recovery.
“I’m extremely excited that the new Bulls facility is located in the 27th Ward,” said Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. “This will bring tourism and help generate development in the area.”
The Eisenhower Corridor, which includes the near west side, is one of seven “opportunity areas” identified as part of the City’s Chicago Neighborhoods Now (CNN) initiative. Announced in March 2013, it is coordinating new economic development, housing, and quality of life improvements across seven opportunity-rich sections of Chicago.
The Eisenhower Corridor area has experienced over $400 million in planned and completed public and private investments that include the new Pete’s Fresh Market, rehabilitation and improvements along the Blue Line, development of the Viceroy Apartments, the Union Park Playground and additional streetscape and resurfacing projects. Across the Eisenhower Corridor, projects are creating more than more than 4,300 permanent and temporary construction jobs, strengthening economic development and attracting new retail to the area.
Chicago Neighborhoods Now was projected to coordinate $330 million in City funding and $2.6 billion in State, Federal and private funding. Based on projections announced in the past 12 months, we have not only met, but exceeded those goals.
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