Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Sci-Fi Part VI: Next 10 Years (Part III)

By Tim Lively
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Jun 10, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Hockey fans arrive before game four of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

2024 – The West Loop Eclipses Wrigleyville and River North

As we discussed in Part I and Part II, one of the many benefits the Blackhawks’ success over the past six years has been ongoing growth and development in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago they call home. With the construction of the new facilities by the United Center, which will bring enough foot traffic to warrant the construction of a new Pink Line “L” stop by the Madhouse, by 2024 Madison Avenue will have assumed a guise reminiscent of present day Clark Street in Wrigleyville and Hubbard Street in River North, only on a grander scale.

For those of you unfamiliar with Chicago nightlife geography, the particular sections of Clark Street and Hubbard Street in their respective neighborhoods of Wrigleyville and River North possess the unique quality of continuous restaurants and bars for multiple blocks. In order for such an urban phenomenon to develop, there needs to be a type of “end-of-the-road” catalyst.

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For Clark Street, this catalyst is Wrigley Field, and for Hubbard Street, it’s the many fine dining establishments of River North.

Today, there are pockets of eating and drinking establishments dotting Madison Avenue here and there in the West Loop. However, with the development of the immediate areas surrounding the United Center, the Madhouse on Madison will come to serve as that “end-of-the-road” catalyst, and the increased volume of patrons it attracts will in kind attract new businesses — and a lot of them. So much to the point that eventually, from Halsted Street at its east end all the way west to Damen Avenue, Madison Avenue will be one constant stretch of bars, restaurants and other retail and professional services.

Given this distance, Madison Avenue will become a premier destination in the city of Chicago, even on non-game days. And once again, this type of transformation will be able to attribute its beginnings with the success of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Next: Glancing At 2025

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