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‘Hawks announce 20-year naming rights deal for United Center

Patrick Sharp

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 12: Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks attempts to control the puck in the corner against the Boston Bruins in Game One of the NHL 2013 Stanley Cup Final at United Center on June 12, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The United Center will continue to be the United Center for at least the next 20 years.

That’s the plan for now, at least -- i.e. assuming United Airlines is still United Airlines in 20 years.


“We’re thrilled to have United Airlines on board for another 20 years,” said Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz in a release about the naming-rights deal. “We are proud of the partnership and what it will continue to mean to the United Center, from our fans and customers, to the positive economic role the United Center will continue to play in Chicago.”

Opened in 1994, the United Center replaced the old Chicago Stadium. The new arena wasn’t universally loved at first, with many fans complaining it was too big, making it harder to foster the same atmosphere of the previous rink. But on the bright side, there were far fewer rats.

The ‘Hawks are averaging an NHL-high 21,415 in attendance this season. They’ve led the league in attendance since 2008-09.

Financial terms of the new deal were not disclosed.