It was announced yesterday that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, that put on the circus event that comes to Chicago each year will no longer be coming to the United Center after these last two weeks of November. Many Chicagoans know that around mid-November the circus comes into the United Center and forces out the Bulls and Hawks, which both teams then have prolonged 6-7 game road trips.
According to the Chicago Tribune, King Rocky Wirtz has said in the past that in 2017 that the contract the United Center has with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey would lapse.
The reason behind ending these contracts was twofold according to Terry Savarise, Senior vice president of operations for the UC. Both teams wouldn’t have to endure these long road trips which could derail the season for either team (even though the past few years the Hawks have used this trip as a positive and really established themselves as a Cup contender) and in turn wouldn’t compress the home schedule for the two teams. The fans didn’t like that the home schedule was compressed also since there would be 4 home games in one week.
There will also be a reduction in the time Disney On-Ice uses when it comes to the United Center. The time will go down from two weeks to one week in February.
It will be interesting to see if the United Center generates as much revenue that it has in the past with both events occupying the United Center for two weeks.