Bulls leaving Berto, moving practice facility to Chicago - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Bulls leaving Berto, moving practice facility to Chicago

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The Bulls plan to move the team's practice facility and offices to downtown Chicago from the Sheri L. Berto Center in Deerfield, their training base since 1992.

Team officials announced that early Wednesday but said they are still in the process of finding a location, that it's not sure exactly when the move will happen but that the project will be privately financed.

The team says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pitched the idea of a move to Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. In the statement, Reinsdorf says Emanuel stressed how important the Bulls are to the city. The Bulls exec adds that Emanuel's timing was good because the team had been thinking about ways to address the growth limitations of its current facility for a while.

Several reports have speculated that an expanded sports and entertainment facility at or near the United Center could be the location for the team's new practice arena. The Los Angeles Lakes have a similar multi-use facility.

City Hall sources said Wednesday that the Bulls are scouting "a handful" of possible sites, with a focus on the retail and entertainment complex they hope to build adjacent to the United Center.

"That's the logical choice, but it's really early," said a source who asked to remain anonymous. "They don't have a final location. They're still looking,"

In a statement Wednesday morning, Emanuel said, "On behalf of all Chicagoans, I proudly welcome the Chicago Bulls back to the city. From Michael Jordan to Derrick Rose, the Bulls have been intertwined with the city for decades and wonderful ambassadors for Chicago around the world. We look forward to welcoming the Bulls, their staff and their players back into the city and wish them continued success at the top of the NBA."

The United Center is part of a surrounding tax-increment-financing district that could be tapped to provide a subsidy to defray the cost of the Bulls' new facility if Emanuel agrees and believes he could sell such a move politically.

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