Nov. 17, 2005

Chicago Bulls Celebrate 40 Years of Tradition

By Randy J. Klodz

With a limited supply of $10 tickets to many of the 37 remaining Chicago Bulls home basketball games, taking the family to see world-class NBA action may cost less than one may think.

While the Bulls may have had a rough time since Michael Jordan left the team, the young Bulls turned an 0-9 start last season into a positive by finishing 12 games over the .500 mark and reached the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Even while the Bulls struggled in prior seasons, the Bulls remained a top attendance draw among all NBA teams.

Aside from offering exciting basketball action with such young Bulls players as Tyson Chandler, Luol Deng, Chris Duhon, Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, stars such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, and Yao Ming are all scheduled to visit the United Center this season.

What’s more, each seating level within the United Center, offers amenities found on other levels. In some arenas or stadiums, fans seated in the 300 level, usually the highest level, are slighted. But at the United Center, concessions, restrooms, and plenty of interactive features are plentiful on each seating level, making a trip to a Chicago Bulls game more than just taking in a basketball game.

Prior to the start of the Nov. 12 Chicago Bulls game versus the Utah Jazz, bands on each level performed jazz and classic rock hits as fans viewed gigantic images of current and former Bulls players, or as fans young and old participated in many of the interactive games that make a trip to United Center such a unique experience.

Fans of all ages can be spotted at “Get a Grip” a station located on the concourse of the 100 level, in which the imprint outline of an NBA player’s hand, such as Shaquille O’Neal, or the Bulls’ Luol Deng, is depicted on a makeshift basketball. There fans can compare the size of their hand to that of NBA greats.

There are also stations that allow fans to compare their wingspan and height of players like Shaquille O’Neal and Tyson Chandler. The 300 level offers a station called “Hang Time” in which fans can leap to touch basketball shaped spinners with measurements listed on each. Several younger fans leapt for the low 7” marking, while many others jumped high for the 10’6” mark, the highest point.

Also, just prior to game time, the lights drop, and the world-famous introduction of the Bulls starting lineup, complete with fireworks, lazers, and a video montage begins. During timeouts and halftime, fans are treated to numerous t-shirt giveaways. T-shirts are often shot into the crowd, reaching all levels of seating, or some shirts parachute from the United Center rafters. The all-female dance squad, the Luvabulls is a fan-favorite, as is the Matadors, a group of hefty men who, on select home games, perform a dance routine.

Fans can also enjoy the large viewing screen that often shows live footage, game replays, interactive games (of which fans can are often interact with game coupons given out as each enters United Center) and statistics.

The allure of the Chicago Bulls still reaches a worldwide audience, as visitors can easily be spotted eying the world-famous Michael Jordan statue just outside the will-call window near Gate 2. Check it out.

United Center is at 1901 W. Madison St. Parking at United Center is plentiful and can cost between $15 and $25, while public transportation, such as CTA Bus No. 20, can also be an easy way to commute to Chicago Bulls games at United Center. For more info on the Chicago Bulls log on to www.bulls.com.

Chicago Bulls Photo: c/o bulls.com