Chicago-based real-estate developer Sterling Bay has announced a joint venture with Chicago Cubs owner and Chairman, Tom Ricketts, to bring a United Soccer League (USL) team to the city. The team will play in a new stadium that Sterling Bay recently announced as a part of their Lincoln Yards development. Sterling Bay bought the USL team last year with the expectation of bringing other investors on board to help manage operations.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be working with the Ricketts family to bring this project to life,” said Andy Gloor, Sterling Bay’s managing principal. “With their deep expertise in sports franchising, the Ricketts are an ideal partner for us to collaborate with and energize Chicago sports fans with a new local team to rally around.”
The stadium, which was unveiled last November, was designed by SOM to have capacity for 20,000 spectators and a retractable roof. It is designed for year-round use as a venue for other uses as well, such as concerts and community events. The stadium is a component of the Sterling Bay’s 70-acre, mixed-use, master plan for the former Finkl Steel site on the riverfront between the city’s Lincoln Park and Bucktown neighborhoods.
“My family is very excited at the prospect of bringing professional USL soccer to Chicago at this terrific new development. Sterling Bay is a tremendous partner and the USL has a great vision for meeting the demands of passionate fans and growing soccer’s fan base,” said Tom Ricketts.
Sterling Bay first floated the idea of the stadium as an enticement to bring Amazon’s HQ2 to Chicago, and specifically to Lincoln Yards. There proposal includes offering branding rights for the stadium to the online retail giant.