DePaul University has announced plans to renovate the Sullivan Athletic Center and McGrath-Phillips Arena as well as to build a new practice facility for the school’s basketball teams. Planned for the northwest corner of W. Belden Ave and N. Sheffield Ave, the new facility will rise across the street from the current Sullivan Athletic Center and will replace a recently acquired, university-owned apartment complex in addition to four other smaller buildings in this area, including the current Athletics Annex and other housing-managed properties.
Designed by HNTB and Antunovich Associates, the new facility will feature a brick façade that mirrors the aesthetic of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, with a pitched roof that pays homage to DePaul's former Lincoln Park arena, Alumni Hall. Floor-to-ceiling glass around the basketball gyms will offer views of the surrounding neighborhood and wider city context.
While the addition of Wintrust Arena increased their visibility, ability to recruit, and footprint in Chicago, DePaul is continuing to take steps towards being able to provide each of the 15 sports programs with the facilities they need to be competitive in the BIG EAST Conference. DePaul men’s and women’s basketball will move their training, practices, and operations across the street from the Sullivan Athletics Center to allow for more dedicated spaces to support the programs.
Dedicated practice courts for each basketball program will greatly alleviate scheduling concerns, as all 15 of DePaul’s programs currently share the McGrath-Phillips Arena courts. The first floor of the facility will be dedicated to the health and wellness of all 215+ DePaul student-athletes, and will include a team dining space, nutrition bar, new sports medicine treatment spaces and offices, hydrotherapy, a weight room, and multi-purpose meeting rooms.
Set to cost $60 million, the project will be funded primarily through donor gifts and via a fundraising campaign approved by the Philanthropy Committee of DePaul’s Board of Trustees.
As the project moves forward, the demolition of buildings on site would not begin until Summer 2025 at the earliest. Construction of the new facility would begin after demolition is done and is expected to be completed by Fall 2026. Renovation of the Sullivan Athletic Center and McGrath-Phillips Arena is set to begin this winter, with the first phase being completed in late Summer 2024.