Back in the ‘70’s, the Greco family owned a hockey team called the Chicago Warriors and the expenses for the team to play at the old Chicago Stadium (where the Blackhawks played until it became the United Center) were tremendous. The future of the Odeum began when Emil “EG” Greco decided to build his own hockey arena. Not one to ever do things normally, EG built a facility that had 3 ice rinks and thus Hat Trick Ice Arena was born.
But things weren’t all rosy. We had this new building along with a semi-pro USHL team; and, as we near completion of our facility, the economy takes a nose-dive! There was a steel strike…a cement strike…prime rose to 19%…it was almost impossible to get loans! Needless to say, the average family couldn’t afford ice hockey with the cost of good skates, pads, uniforms…not to mention time on the ice!
So the Grecos decided to switch over from ice to indoor soccer. No compressors needed to make ice…no power needed to run the compressors 24/7. Anyone could play soccer with a pair of shoes, shorts, and a ball. So on November 13th, 1981, the Odeum Sports & Expo Center was born…and the rest is history.
As it’s known today, The Odeum Expo Center hosts a variety of special events including concerts, indoor soccer and other sports competitions, corporate events, automotive research, and public tradeshows. Each year, over 1.2 million visitors pass through The Odeum doors.