United CenterNear West Side | Website
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The United Center is bigger and less personal (and more corporate, judging from the airline logo on the roof) than the famous first house of Bobby Hull and Michael Jordan, the old Chicago Stadium. It's more flashy, too, starting with the searchlights that sweep the night sky before the games. The Chicago Blackhawks skated to Stanley Cups for their raucous fans in the 1933-34, 1937-38 and 1960-61 seasons, and the Chicago Bulls won three National Basketball Association titles, from 1991 to 1993, at the old barn across Madison Street, which was torn down shortly after the Bulls and the Blackhawks moved to the United Center in 1994. But the '96, '97 and '98 World Champion Bulls did pretty well here, too. The United Center is vast, and if you get a nosebleed seat it's almost like watching the game on television. Negotiating the rounded hallways without bumping into people can get annoying. But the restrooms and concession stands are clean, spacious and plentiful (even for women), and the escalators sure beat the narrow, winding stairs at the old stadium. For concerts and shows, the United Center provides a decent experience. The sound quality is metallic and heavily echoed, as with any other arena's shows, yet seats are comfortable and you can see the stage from most vantage points. Be sure to check out the statue of Michael Jordan, in flight, out front on the east side (toward downtown, off Madison Street).