Demonstrators Protest DePaul's New TIF-Funded Arena

By aaroncynic in News on Jun 7, 2013 3:00PM

A group of about 20 people demonstrated outside the student center at DePaul on Wednesday to protest the use of TIF funding to build a new basketball stadium. Progress Illinois reports the group was attempting to get people to sign a petition to oppose the TIF financing, which calls on Mayor Emanuel to invest the money in schools that will be closing, rather than a new arena.

City officials and Mayor Emanuel have touted the new area as a revenue source. Think Progress reports a study released by the city estimates it would generate $251 million in gross profits and $108 million in “net recurring annual impact.” In order to reach those numbers however, the Blue Demons would have to more than triple the attendance at games. DePaul faculty members told DNAinfo the stadium plans are "wildly out of line" with the school's needs.

DePaul plans to put in $70 million of their own dollars and would shore up the rest of the financing with $55 million in TIF funding and another $70 million from the city hotel-motel tax, according to CBS. The area would be built in an area with an accompanying hotel.

“I’m paying out of my bottom for my education at DePaul, the extremely high tuition is worth every penny, but they certainly don’t need taxpayer dollars,” said Erika Wozniak, who organized the protest. Adenia Linker, a member of the group Raise Your Hand told Progress Illinois “I understand the need for tourism dollars and the need to bring people to the lake, but we also need the infrastructure of education for the next generation.”