Chicago’s United Center is named for its corporate sponsor, United Airlines. It is the home of two professional sports franchises, the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Chicago Black Hawks of the National Hockey League (NHL). Hockey fans who recall the glory days of such Black Hawk legends as Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Glen Hall claim that the United Center lacks the charm of the old Chicago Stadium. But after the Black Hawks’ solid showing in the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, fans believe that stars like Marian Hossa will lead a talented young team to new triumphs in the new, ultra-modern building. Basketball fans who come to enjoy the Bulls’ games like to pose for pictures in front of the United Center’s famous statue of all-time great Michael Jordan. Since its unveiling in 1994, the Jordan statue has become one of Chicago’s most recognized landmarks.
In addition to professional sports, the United Center is also the venue for concerts. Among the artists who have performed here are Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, the Who and U2. It has hosted the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, and Disney on Ice. In 1996 the Democratic National Convention was held here. The United Center hosts about 200 events every year. Visitors from out of town can find every sort of accommodation, including budget and discount hotels, near the United Center in Chicago.