DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Chicago Connections > Giant image of Chicago flag spans Wintrust Arena roof

Giant image of Chicago flag spans Wintrust Arena roof

Chicago flag Wintrust
Aerial view of the Wintrust Arena rooftop at Chicago's McCormick Square in the city's vibrant South Loop neighborhood. The multi-purpose event center at 200 E. Cermak Road opened in the fall of 2017 and is home to DePaul's Blue Demons men's and women's basketball teams. (Brian Fritz Photography)

Wintrust Arena at Chicago's McCormick Square is sporting what likely is the largest rooftop image of the Chicago flag anywhere in the world. Measuring 196 feet by 236 feet, installation of the flag image on the event center's roof was completed in late November. It is displayed above the Wintrust Arena logo, which measures 48 feet by 146 feet.

Each of the four, iconic six-pointed red stars on the historical Chicago flag image is 50 feet in diameter - about half the size of the DePaul Blue Demons basketball court under the roof.

"What better image than the Chicago flag to show that DePaul basketball is proud to be back in its hometown. We developed the concept jointly with Wintrust Financial and quickly had the blessing of our architects, Moody Nolan and Pelli Clerk Pelli," DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., says. "We are honored to display the Chicago flag image and Wintrust logo on the roof of our new home in Chicago's vibrant South Loop neighborhood."

The sponsorship between DePaul and Wintrust Financial Corporation was announced more than a year ago, on Nov. 16, 2016, when the arena was still under construction.

"From the beginning, our involvement with this project was based on the fact that DePaul is, and the arena would be, such a strong presence in the city," says Wintrust CEO and President Edward J. Wehmer. "There's no better way to communicate that than with the new roof treatment. We are literally shouting our support of this city from the rooftop!"

The Wintrust Arena opened in the fall of 2017 and is home to the DePaul Blue Demons men's and women's basketball teams and the Chicago Sky. Designed as a multi-purpose event center, Wintrust Arena has already hosted a number of concerts with performers ranging from Chance the Rapper, Gloria Estefan, Bob Dylan, Mavis Staples, Common, and Erykah Badu.

"The addition of the art on the roof adds to the already distinctive look of the arena," says Lori Healey, CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exhibition Authority. "Whether you are flying in for a convention, or returning home from a vacation, you can easily spot Wintrust Arena from the air."
Fabrication of the flag image and Wintrust Arena logo took four weeks, with almost another three weeks to apply the pieces to the roof, says Bob Janis, vice president, Facility Operations. Even with Chicago's frigid winters and humid summers, the roof treatment is expected to last more than 15 years, Janis notes.