Twenty years ago today, the Chicago Bulls played their first game at the historic United Center.
A Scottie Pippen led Bulls team beat the Charlotte Hornets 89-83. Pippen led all scorers with 22 points in front of a crowd of 22, 313.
Ground was officially broken for construction on April 6, 1992 with the opening ceremony being held on August 18, 1994.
Since that date the United Center has hosted on average over 200 events per year, and been home to five championship teams between the Bulls and Blackhawks, who call the UC home.
In commemoration of today’s anniversary date we will be counting down the most unbelievable facts from the past 20 years.
5. 40 Million Strong
Since it’s opening in 1994, The UC has played host to the likes of The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the 1996 Democratic National Convention, the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, and more.
Forty million visitors and counting have entered the United Center’s front doors.
4. First Major Event
Chicago is widely regarded as one of the most historic wrestling cities in the world.
On September 4, 1911, Comiskey Park hosted what was at the time the largest live wrestling event in history with a gate total of $87, 000.
The match was between “Russian Lion” George Hackenshmidt and Frank Gotch for the World Heavyweight title.
Fitting that the first major event held at the United Center was SummerSlam ’94.
The main event was between two men under the moniker of Undertaker; Paul Bearer’s Undertaker, and Ted DiBiase’s Undertaker.
Bearer’s Undertaker would win the match after a few good ol’ tombstone pile drivers and throwing the DiBiase Undertaker in a casket– Just another day at the office.
3. Da Biggest
The United center is the largest arena in terms of physical size in the United States.
It covers 960, 000 square feet, stands 300 feet tall, and has the ability to seat upwards of 24, 000 people.
2. A River Runs Through It
Just as today is the 20 year anniversary of the Bulls’ first home game at the UC, November 1st was the 20th anniversary of the Michael Jordan “Spirit” statue’s grand unveiling.
Did you know that located on the front of that statue is a quote from a Brad Pitt movie?
“At that moment I knew, surely and clearly, that I was witnessing perfection. He stood before us, suspended above the earth, free from all its laws like a work of art, and I knew, just as surely and clearly, that life is not a work of art, and that the moment could not last.”
— “A River Runs Through It”
1. Michael Jordan’s Ridiculous UC Home Record
Michael Jordan led the Bulls to six championships in the 90’s, everyone knows that.
Three came in the United Center’s predecessor, Chicago Stadium; while the United Center was home to the second three.
But, did you know that Michael Jordan’s home record at the United Center is 122-9?!
Yes you read that right– 122-9.
That’s a win percentage of 93%.
Not sure if that’s an all-time record or not, I had to count every win and loss myself just to verify that 122-9 was correct. If you want to count for yourself go on ahead, you might need to in order to believe it.
Also, since their first game at the United Center 20 years ago, the Chicago Bulls have the best home win percentage (min. 500 games) in the NBA as of the start of the 2014-15 regular season with a mark of 307-210.