An artists’ rendition of the proposed Chicago stadium. (Photo courtesy of the USL)
CHICAGO – Sterling Bay, the Chicago-based real-estate developer and investor, announced Wednesday that Chicago Cubs owner and chairman Tom Ricketts will form a joint venture agreement to take ownership of the United Soccer League team headed to Chicago through Sterling Bay’s planned state-of-the-art soccer stadium development at their Lincoln Yards site.
Sterling Bay announced plans last November for a 20,000-seat stadium that would be part of a more than 70-acre mixed-use development in the Lincoln Park and Bucktown neighborhoods of the city, which includes riverfront land that would enhance other developments planned for the project.
“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 Ricketts family, led by Tom, purchased the Cubs in January 2009. Since then, the organization recorded its first World Series victory in more than 100 years in 2016. Since the purchase, the organization has also overseen major renovations to Wrigley Field, the Cubs’ home on the north side of Chicago.
“It speaks volumes about the growth of the USL when you continue to see interest and investment from proven sports business executives like Tom Ricketts,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “Over the last several years, we have assembled one of the most sophisticated and knowledgeable ownership groups in professional sports, drawn by our focus on building a sustainable, stable and professional organization with significant room for future growth. We welcome Tom and the entire Ricketts family to the USL. They bring a proven record of success to the team, and combined with the excellent group at Sterling Bay, we look forward to their contributions to the future of professional soccer in Chicago.”
The multi-use stadium and training facility will provide Chicago sports fans, athletes and residents a venue that will feature concerts, sports programming, community and cultural events.