The United Center in Chicago has had the privilege this past decade of hosting many playoff games for both the Blackhawks and Bulls starting in mid-April. The arena opened in 1994 and has since seen three Bulls titles and recently three Stanley Cups. Unfortunately there will be no extra games played at the United Center in 2018 as both the Bulls and Blackhawks will not make the playoffs. This is the first time the arena will be empty during NHL and NBA playoff time since 2007-2008.

Just last season both teams made the playoffs, though both were eliminated in round one.

Going back to 1995, the United Center has been playoff-less just seven times including this year. 12 times since 1995, both teams were in the playoffs the same year. This will be just the second time seeing this scenario in 14 years. So long story short, it is pretty rare to see. There was a stretch from 1999-2004 when five of those six years had no playoff games played at the United Center, but that was over a decade ago.

State of the teams

It was no surprise that the Bulls did not make the playoffs. They sold off Jimmy Butler last summer and began a massive rebuild. This is a team that will likely not make the playoffs for another year or so as they are still in the early stages of the rebuild.

The Blackhawks were a bit more of a surprise. Expected by many to make the playoffs again, they lost star goalie Corey Crawford, got inconsistent play from the forwards and struggled defensively, resulting in a sub-.500 record for the first time since 2007. They still believe they can return to form next year.

The "Madhouse on Madison" will hopefully not be quiet by mid-April for very long.

If the Blackhawks can fix some issues and the Bulls can have a successful rebuild, the playoffs will return. Many Chicagoans this season will miss the roar of red in the stands when there is a playoff game going on. Nothing beat when both teams were in the playoffs the same year and the United Center was rocking one night with "See Red" shirts and the next with "Lets go Hawks" chants.

It made April, May and sometimes June so fun for Chicago fans.

Coming to an end

The Blackhawks' season is already over as their last game at the United Center was Friday night. They lost, but it was an emotional night as they said goodbye to longtime hero Patrick Sharp who is retiring. He took a final lap around the ice as the remaining fans cheered him on. The horn blasted one more time as the team headed for the locker room.

The Bulls have one more game this season to play at home on April 11th against the Detroit Pistons. After that, no more Blackhawks or Bulls at the United Center for several months.