SOUTH LOOP — DePaul University hasn't sold the naming rights to its future basketball arena yet, but a new petition making the rounds online has an idea where the proceeds should go: Chicago Public Schools.
The petition created by Bridgeport resident and CPS teacher Erika Wozniak has garnered nearly 200 signatures since she put it online Sunday. The petition asks DePaul President Dennis H. Holtschneider to give back to Chicago's public school students "in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul."
Dave Matthews connects the dots between CPS and DePaul:
The campaign arrives the same week city officials broke ground on a 40-story, 1,206-room Marriott hotel that will sit next to the arena, which for now is formally called the McCormick Place Event Center. The South Loop arena, which will be co-owned by DePaul and the quasi-public Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), is funded in part by taxpayers and was announced about a week before the city closed 49 public schools back in 2013.
The city views the hotel and arena as future anchors to a burgeoning entertainment district it envisions for the area surrounding McCormick Place. Spokeswomen for DePaul and the MPEA did not have immediate comments on the petition. Construction started Tuesday on the hotel, which is slated to open in August 2017. A groundbreaking date has not yet been set for the arena.
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