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  • Writer's pictureLloyd Brown

Wintrust Arena – Chicago Sky


Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57

Wintrust Arena 200 E Cermak Rd Chicago, IL 60616

Year Opened: 2017 Capacity: 10,387

 

The Sky’s The Limit

The Wintrust Arena opened in 2017. It is truly a multi-purpose facility, as in addition to the usual sports and concerts, it also serves as the home for trade shows, large corporate meetings, conventions, and other major events. Wintrust Arena has a capacity of 10,387 in its basketball configuration, with 22 luxury suites also available.

The Chicago Sky was founded in 2006 and has played in the Wintrust Arena since 2018. They previously played at the Allstate Arena. The club has won two conference championships (2014,2021) and took home the WNBA Championship on their home floor in 2021.

The Wintrust Arena also serves as the home arena for both the men’s and women’s basketball programs of the DePaul University Blue Demons.

Food & Beverage 3


There are seven concession stands that are evenly distributed throughout the arena and are numerous enough that you should not encounter a long line during a game. The concession offerings include nachos ($7), chicken tenders ($7), hot dogs ($8), an extra-large popcorn bucket ($9), pretzels ($6.50), chicken sandwiches ($13), pizza ($8.50), chips ($4) and candy ($4)

Wintrust Arena serves Pepsi brand sodas ($6.50), Gatorade ($6), and bottled water ($5). The arena also offers a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. Domestic drafts are $9.00, premium drafts are $11.00, premium cans are $!0.00, and craft IPAs are $11.00.

Wintrust Arena is a peanut-free facility to protect persons with peanut allergies.

Atmosphere 4

Wintrust Arena is very impressive from the outside, with a shiny steel and glass exterior. However, the inside of the venue is what is important to fans, and Wintrust scores high for its well-thought-out configuration. The seating bowl is compact without feeling crowded, with seats at all levels enjoying great sight lines. The seats are very comfortable and provide excellent leg room.

The Sky’s court features the yellow and sky-blue color scheme of the franchise, with the team logo at midcourt and yellow and blue borders surrounding the court and endlines. Hanging above midcourt is a gigantic scoreboard/videoboard that features all the stats for the game and replays of outstanding shots during the game.

You will never be bored at a Chicago Sky game, as the team does a great job of filling breaks in the action with contests, entertainment, and the antics of Sky Guy, the team’s hilarious mascot

Neighborhood 4

The Wintrust Arena is a part of the Collection at McCormick Square. This complex includes the McCormick Place Convention Center, the Marriott Marquis Chicago, and the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. These buildings are connected via skybridges and pedestrian promenades. It draws the largest convention gatherings in the Windy City, and has several on-site restaurants, as well as many dining opportunities in the South Loop neighborhood that surrounds it.

The arena is convenient to nearby attractions in the Chinatown area (Chinese American Museum of Chicago) or along the lakefront (Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum).

Fans 4


The Sky has a large and loyal fanbase. The Wintrust Arena is one of the largest capacity arenas in the WNBA and they manage to sellout games on a regular basis. Winning the WNBA title in 2021 has really created a buzz in a city that has been starved for a major sports title for many years.

The Sky and its Foundation are very active in the schools and civic organizations in the Windy City. It is not unusual to see the names of many of these groups running on the videoboard when they recognize the groups in attendance at that game.

There are several special fan experiences available at each game. These include serving as an Anthem Buddy, serving as a Ball Kid, standing in the High 5 line as the team enters the arena from the player’s tunnel/locker room, or delivering the ball to the officials prior to the game. These special experiences must be arranged weeks prior to the game you will be attending.

Access 4

Wintrust Arena is easily accessed by a wide variety of transportation options. There are multiple parking garages within the McCormick Place complex for those who wish to drive to the Sky games. These lots tend to have plenty of spaces available when the games take place on weekends or at night. However, it is important to remember that Chicago traffic can be a nightmare at most any time of the day.

Directions coming from the north: Use the Kennedy Expressway and exit at 18th Street. Take 18th Street east to State Street. Turn south on State Street to Cermak. Turn left on Cermak Road

Directions coming from I-55: Take the ramp to the Southbound Dan Ryan Expressway. Exit at 31st Street and head east. At South Martin Luther King Drive head north. McCormick Place will be at the corner of South Martin Luther King Drive and Cermak Road.

There are several public transportation options to get to the Wintrust Arena. The CTA’s Green Line offers L service via the Cermak-McCormick Place Station. The CTA’s Red Line serves Wintrust Arena via the Cermak-Chinatown Station. CTA bus service to the arena is available via the #3 and #21 bus routes. METRA Rail services the facility via the McCormick Place Station.

The doors to Wintrust Arena open 90 minutes prior to tipoff.

Return on Investment 3


There are several ticket price points available for games at the Wintrust Arena. The lowest seating price is $19, which is on the Upper Level at the end of the court. The other price levels are $28 (Upper Level in the corners), $33 (Upper Level on sides of court), $44 (Lower Level at end of the court), $55 (Lower Level corners), and the highest priced seats are $71 (Lower Level on the sides) Vey honestly, Wintrust Arena is a very cozy facility, and there really is not a bad seat in the house at any price point. The arena uses Ticketmaster as its official ticket sales vendor.

Parking in Lot A of McCormick Place costs $15 on game nights

Extras 3

The 2022 WNBA All-Star Game was played at Wintrust Arena.

The facility has hosted the Big East Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament on numerous occasions.

In 2020 Wintrust Arena hosted the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game as a part of the city’s celebration of All-Star Week.

Final Thoughts

The Chicago Sky has been one of the most successful WNBA teams for years. In 2021 the team won the WNBA title for the city of Chicago, a city starved for a sports championship for the last few years. The Wintrust Arena is a worthy home court for a championship team. It is a shiny place of an arena, with excellent views of the game action from any of its seating areas. It also features a wonderful audiovisual package, with a huge center-hung videoscreen/scoreboard. It also offers easy access to fans, as the arena is located on multiple bus and train routes in a city that lives on public transit.

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