United Center gets Uber lounge

Arena home of 1st per­ma­nent pickup and drop-off spot

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - BUSINESS - By Mary Wis­niewski mwis­[email protected] tri­bune.com

United Center pa­trons who or­der an Uber af­ter an event no longer will have to hang around on the side­walk look­ing for rides.

The ride-share com­pany has part­nered with the en­ter­tain­ment venue to of­fer its first per­ma­nent struc­ture built at any sports and en­ter­tain­ment arena. The tem­per­a­ture­con­trolled, cov­ered pickup and drop-off spot at Madi­son and Wood streets in Lot E can hold 1,000 peo­ple and in­cludes benches and charg­ing sta­tions.

Drivers will pull into the lot by the struc­ture, be di­rected into a lane by staff, and then drivers will call or text the rid­ers with what lane to go to for their car.

“Our part­ner­ship with Uber brings us closer to the United Center’s goal of cre­at­ing a seam­less event day ex­pe­ri­ence for our guests,” said Joe Myhra, United Center’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent of op­er­a­tions and ad­min­is­tra­tion, in a state­ment.

United Center said there are no plans to build struc­tures for other rideshare com­pa­nies.

On event days, the Uber Zone is open two hours be­fore games, con­certs and events and will re­main open up to one hour af­ter each event. On non­event days, the Uber Zone will be closed.

Ni­raj Pa­tel, Uber’s di­rec­tor of rider op­er­a­tions, said in a state­ment that the com­pany hopes its ex­pe­ri­ence at the United Center could be a model for other large venues in the fu­ture.

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