The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced today that the United Center, in conjunction with the University of Notre Dame, has been selected to host the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, marking the first time the event has been held at the United Center. The competition, also known as the Frozen Four, will take place April 6-8, 2017.
“Hosting these NCAA championships is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Chicago as the first-class sports destination that it is,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement. “I look forward to welcoming the NCAA student-athletes, coaches, and fans to one of the country’s greatest and most spirited sports cities.”
The Frozen Four is the culmination of the NCAA’s 16-team tournament to determine the collegiate national champion. The tournament, which began in 1948, has branded its semi-final and final games as the Frozen Four since 1999. The single-elimination tournament was expanded to its current 16-team format in 2003.
“We are incredibly proud to welcome the Frozen Four to the United Center in 2017,” said Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz. “Along with our partner, the University of Notre Dame, we cannot think of a better hockey community to host this national championship and know what a powerful economic impact it will have on the City of Chicago. Since privately built in 1994, the United Center and the west side of Chicago have been home to countless memorable moments and we have no doubt that this marquee event will add to that legacy.”
The United Center is a state-of-the-art, 960,000 square-foot multi-use entertainment facility that has welcomed over 40 million fans since opening in 1994. Home of the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League and the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association, the United Center hosts over 200 events each year, including the best musical performers, sporting events, family shows, and special events in the industry.