Trips to the Windy City are just a few months away for diehard NBA D-League fans from West Michigan.
On November 11, 2015 the Chicago Bulls and the NBA Developmental League announced that the Windy City Bulls will begin play with the 2016-17 season and host their 24 home games at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, IL.
Chicago Bulls President & COO Michael Reinsdorf told reporters,
“The Windy City Bulls will build on the great traditions of the Chicago Bulls and bring the enjoyment and love of the game of basketball to fans in the Northwest Suburbs. Windy City Bulls emerged as a fan favorite during our ‘Name the Team’ campaign earlier this season, and we thank the thousands of fans who helped us select a name that creates a strong connection to the region, reflects our civic pride, and extends the reach of the Bulls brand.”
Bulls’ GM Gar Forman told Sam Smith, writer of The Jordan Rules and with Bulls.com,
“We plan on using it for the development and growth of our young guys. We think it will be a positive for our fans. I think they will enjoy it, a positive for our staff. But most of all we think it will be a positive for our young players and we are looking forward to starting this team next year and getting our young guys there where you can watch them play.”
Forman also reminded Smith of why the organization hadn’t used the D-League in the past as much as it will in the future, of which Smith wrote, “primarily without control of the team or the staff as NBA teams shared D-League affiliates, the players weren’t guaranteed playing time or asked to play a similar style.”
That changes with the direct affiliation and ownership.
On February 22, 2016, Brad Seymour was named president of the Windy City franchise. West Michigan Whitecaps fans may know Seymour from his days with the Lake County Captains of the Midwest League, the Class A minor league affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, starting in 2009.
To celebrate the Bulls’ arrival, the team welcomed fans at the Fan Fest at Sears Centre Arena back on Sunday, March 13.
The Sears Centre will be getting some updates before the start of the basketball season, including a new floor that cost $63,200 and was specially built for the NBA World Games in Shanghai. The new floor has only four games played on it. The floor being removed will be donated to a community center locally in northwest Chicago’s suburban area.
Sears Centre GM Ben Gibbs told Eric Petersen of the dailyherald.com that a much needed, new $934,185 scoreboard system will include a main digital scoreboard approximately 24 by 43 feet.
The Windy City Bulls primary logo(seen above) features design elements that convey a new brand personality for the D-League team while maintaining a connection with the iconic Chicago Bulls logo. The overall shape of the Bull head has been altered to incorporate a larger and wider set of bull horns with the removal of the red tips. The brow line dips down in the center, and the three horizontal lines were shaped to form the lines of a basketball. The Windy City Bulls wordmark anchors the logo, with the word “BULLS” in the same font as the Chicago Bulls logo. The secondary logo(at right) shows the profile view of the Bull head integrated into the outline of the state of Illinois to incorporate a more regional appeal. The primary branding colors are red and black, with metallic silver serving as an accent. The Chicago Bulls Creative Services department designed all of the logos.
For more updates on Windy City Bulls news and events, please visit www.bulls.com/dleague or follow the team on Twitter @windycitybulls and Instagram @windycitybulls. Fans interested in purchasing Windy City Bulls season tickets can visit www.bulls.com/dleague
Travel plans, you can make them now! But you’ll have to get tickets at a later date. Southwest.com can get you to Midway Airport for around $49 if you chase a deal, but the Arena is closer to O’Hare.