Chicago Bulls will own, operate their own D-League team
The NBA Development League and the Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has been granted the right to own and operate an NBA D-League club that will begin play in the 2016-17 season. The new team, which will play its home games at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., will be the NBA D-League’s record 22nd franchise, while the Bulls become the 13th NBA team to fully own and operate its NBA D-League affiliate. BMO Harris Bank will serve as the presenting partner of the new NBA D-League team.
“It’s an exciting time for the NBA D-League as we announce the league’s record 22nd team,” said Malcolm Turner, NBA D-League President. “The NBA D-League is experiencing an exciting period of tremendous growth as we answer the growing development needs of NBA teams. I couldn’t be prouder to welcome the Bulls into the NBA D-League family of owners and look forward to sitting alongside the great basketball fans in Illinois to watch this new team compete at the Sears Centre Arena next season.”
“Establishing an expansion NBA Development League franchise is a significant step forward for the organization,” said Michael Reinsdorf, President and COO of the Chicago Bulls. “We continuously look for opportunities to promote the game of basketball, extend the reach of the Bulls brand and deepen our integration with our surrounding communities. There are so many great Chicago Bulls fans in the area, and we look forward to engaging in new ways with families, schools, nonprofit organizations and businesses in the Northwest Suburbs.”
Sears Centre Arena, which opened in 2006, is located approximately 35 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and will host the team’s 24 home games between November and April. The NBA D-League team’s business and basketball staffs will be housed at the arena.
“We’re extremely excited for the valuable investment the Bulls are making by owning and operating an NBA D-League franchise,” said John Paxson, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Chicago Bulls. “While it will ingrain our brand more deeply in the surrounding communities, it will also strengthen our team on the court. Our younger players will have a place close to home to grow and mature while playing within a developmental platform that is consistent with Bulls basketball.”
“All of us at the Village of Hoffman Estates are honored to welcome the Chicago Bulls and their newly formed NBA D-League franchise to the Sears Centre Arena," said Mayor William McLeod. "We look forward to working with the Bulls and their staff to create excitement for their current fan base as well as explore opportunities to connect Hoffman Estates' residents and businesses to the Bulls brand in a meaningful way. The games will no doubt offer an exciting new entertainment feature for the Village and surrounding suburbs."
The organization is inviting fans to help “Name the Team”. Beginning today through November 25, fans who are legal residents of Illinois and/or live within 75 miles of Chicago are invited to submit up to five name options.