CHICAGO (CBS) — The owner of the Chicago Cubs is now getting into the soccer game.
Tom Ricketts is forming “a joint venture to take ownership of the United Soccer League team headed to Chicago.” The real estate developer Sterling Bay will construct a 20,000 seat soccer stadium at the company Lincoln Yard’s site on the city’s North Side.
“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.
Tom and the Ricketts family bought the Cubs in 2009. The team won its first World Series in over 100 years in 2016.
USL CEO Alec Papadakis praised Ricketts and his work with the Cubs.
“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,” said Papadakis. We welcome Tom and the entire Ricketts family to the USL. They bring a proven record of success to the team, and we look forward to their contributions to the future of professional soccer in Chicago.”
The Division II USL is headquartered in Tampa and has more than 30 teams in its organization. There are six teams, including Chicago, that are on the USL’s expansion roster. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the timeline for the Chicago team to hit the pitch is 2021. The city’s other soccer team, the Chicago Fire, is part of Major League Soccer.