City Hall

Views of Chicago's City Hall. (Tribune illustration)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants DePaul University's men's basketball team back playing its games in Chicago, but he's not publicly stating his preference on where that should happen.

Asked about reports the Blue Demons are considering either building a new arena around the Motor Row area near McCormick Place in the South Loop or becoming a tenant at the West Side United Center, Emanuel only said he wants to figure out how to get them back into Chicago after decades playing in Rosemont.

"DePaul for years has been talking about a stadium in Chicago that's better for their basketball team, better for their fans and better to be close to home," Emanuel said at a news conference about trade shows at McCormick Place. "It is in our interest as a city that they choose Chicago. And so we're going to work together to look at Chicago being a home for DePaul's Blue Demons. It will be a win for DePaul and a win for the city of Chicago."

Pressed about where specifically he would like to see them tip off, Emanuel said "That ultimately is up to them, but I want them to pick Chicago."

Don Welsh, president and chief executive of the city's non-profit tourism agency Choose Chicago, told reporters a new stadium near McCormick Place could help anchor night life growth in the area that also would cater to convention attendees, especially given how crowded the United Center already is with sports teams and other events.

"I think somehow, probably the building of a second arena may make sense at this stage of the game in terms of satisfying the sports demand," Welsh said.