United Center on the Near West Side of Chicago, Illinois, is home to the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL), named after its corporate sponsor, United Airlines.The United Center's predecessor, the Chicago Stadium, was demolished after the new arena opened in 1994. The first event at the United Center was the WWF SummerSlam. Due to a lockout, the Blackhawks did not move in until the 1994-95 NHL season.The east side of the arena features statues of Michael Jordan, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, while a statue of various Blackhawks sits to the north on Madison Street, where the Chicago Stadium was located.
The Bulls and Blackhawks operate the United Center through a 50/50 partnership, the United Center Joint Venture. It covers 960,000 square feet on a 46-acre parcel, west of the Chicago Loop. The arena is the largest in the United States in size, though not in capacity. Its exterior bears a striking resemblance to that of Chicago Stadium. It seats 19,717 for hockey, 20,917 for basketball and up to 23,500 for concerts. The United Center hosts over 200 events per year and has drawn over 20 million visitors since its opening. Attendance routinely exceeds seating capacity for Bulls and Blackhawks games.