Chicago Venue Guide: United Center Facts and Info

Chicago Venue Guide: United Center Facts and Info

United Center

Here are some fun things every fan should know about the United Center. This is a guide meant to provide great tips and clues to make your trip to the UC even more enjoyable. Make sure to check out my United Center Seating and Parking guides too!

Going to the U.C?

  • The United Center opens 90 minutes prior for all sporting events and concerts and one hour prior for family shows such as the circus and ice shows.
  • Parking is ample and the United Center-owned lots charge $20-35 for most events.  Private lots are very close and are less expensive.
  • Cameras are allowed at sporting events but generally NOT at concerts.
  • Any child over 36″ tall must have a ticket.  Kids shorter than that must share a seat with a chaperoning adult.

United Center facts…

  • Located in the United Center Park neighborhood of Chicago
  • Nicknamed the UC or Madhouse on Madison, although the “Madhouse” is technically the 300 level in the UC
  • Acoustics in the United Center were designed to amplify the noise level to recreate “The Roar” of the old Chicago Stadium
  • Loud cheering, whistling and applauding during the national anthem at Bulls and Blackhawks games is standard and has been recorded up to 122 decibels during playoff games – bring earplugs if you’re afraid
  • Building covers 960,000 sq. ft. and is the largest indoor arena in the United States
  • Plot of land the UC occupies (building and land) is 45 acres
  • Opened August 18, 1994
  • 10 blocks west of the Kennedy Expressway(I-90/94), half mile north of the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290)
  • 1901 W. Madison St. Chicago, IL 60612
After
Jordan statue in Blackhawks spirit wear during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs
The Michael Jordan statue

Located outside gate 4 on the east side of the UC, measures 17 feet (statue and base),weighs 2000 lbs and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Chicago.  The only place that the statue of Michael is attached to the base is at the knee. Inscribed are the words “The best there ever was. The best there ever will be.” Michael Jordan himself was there when it was unveiled on Nov. 1, 1994.

Seating Capacity…

  • 23,500 for concerts
  • 23,129 for basketball (including standing room)
  • 22,428 for hockey (including standing room)
  • 169 suites on three levels

Food in the United Center

Although you can still get your standard pretzel, popcorn, hot dog and beer, the United Center has kicked it up about a thousand notches in the food and drink department. First off, all the concessions are owned by Levy Restaurants which has elevated your food choices to upscale restaurant quality. And secondly, there are multilple seating areas so you can actually sit down at a table and have some good food. In addition to the concession stands, here are a few places to plop down and eat or have a tasty adult beverage:

100 Level
  • Bar One (full sports bar) across from section 119
  • Jose Cuervo Cantina, across from section 103 with six types of margaritas!
  • Budweiser Select Brew Pub and Carvery, across from section 108 featuring fresh-carved sandwiches and specialty beers
  • Ketel One Club (you need a pass to get in here) across from section 119.  Full restaurant menu featuring wide range of entrees from burgers to lobster mac & cheese to filet mignon. Again, you have to be a member or have a pass to get in.
200 Level (Lexus Club Level)
  • Chicago Stadium Club, at section 224 is a spectacular restaurant and bar that seats 225. You must have a club level ticket to get on the 200 level and thus, to get into the Chicago Stadium Club and make reservations if you want to eat there before the game.
  • All seats in the Club level have in-seat waiter and waitress service during Bulls and Blackhawks games
300 Level (Madhouse on Madison)
  • Iron Works Bar and Grill, across from section 309 featuring giant sandwiches and overlooking the Chicago Skyline with floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Backstage, across from section 326
  • All four corners of the 300 level have full-service Madhouse bars (sections 306, 312, 323 & 329) with a panoramic view overlooking the stadium – you can even watch the game from the bar and sit right on the rail, as if you had front row in the 300 level seats! Very sweet indeed

Here’s a good blog entry on Chicagonow.com about the food at the United Center.  I think the author, Joe Campagna, has eaten at all the concessions at the UC!

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